Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 5.24.17
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Bake
10:24
Going into to the season I thought Cutch would play as he did at the end of 2016, increase his value, and be traded in July. With both he and potential replacement Meadows not playing well, any chance Cutch stays until off season or next year?
BuccoFanFromSpain
10:24
Hi Mr. Brink. Considering that Cutch is struggling pretty much like last year, even with some positive aspects, its fair to say that his value is diminising heavily?
Bill Brink
10:27
Similar questions, so I'll address them together. I think there's a chance McCutchen stays, but I don't think it's a high probability. I don't think the Pirates want to be in the position where they have to make a decision on McCutchen's 2018 option and either commit a large percentage of their payroll to a declining, aging player or let the face of the franchise walk with no compensation. And yes, his value is diminishing. It's no longer, well he had a tough four months but then he was Andrew McCutchen again. If you're an opposing scout or GM you have to be skeptical based on what we've seen.
J234
10:27
Any chance Kang returns this season? How many more years is he under contract?
Bill Brink
10:28
There's always a chance, but who knows at this rate? I was told the denial of the visa application did not necessarily result from the rejection of the appeal, and stemmed more from the fact that a crime was committed in the first place, so the rejection of the appeal might not matter ... but if the crime was the issue in the first place, nothing is changing that, either. He is under contract through 2018 with an option for 2019.
Dan
10:28
Yeah, I don't see any converted to relievers and that's why I'm wondering. So we'd have MLB rotation and MLB2 rotation in AAA? What if most of our pitchers stay healthy though? Some won't get any chance to pitch in MLB then.
Bill Brink
10:29
That's the kind of depth teams try to build, and if everyone stays healthy, they're OK with that. They could also use one in a trade to acquire something else they need.
10:30
What other questions do we have today?
PhillyJake
10:31
JHK, at the end of his current, contract would still be property of the Pirates, as he'll only have four years experience? (Or really three at this point as he probably isn't going to play in the majors this year?)
Bill Brink
10:32
There's an agreement in Kang's contract that the Pirates will release him and make him a free agent, which is somewhat common with players who played professionally in another country when they join MLB.
Dan
10:34
What do you think about Glasnow's H/9? Why is he getting hit so much? Too obvious strikes?
Bill Brink
10:35
Batters make contact with 89.1 percent of his pitches within the strike zone, which tells me that sometimes the fastball, while hard, could flatten or straighten, and hitters can catch up to velocity.
Nick
10:35
I still don't view Tony Watson as a viable closer on a contender (perhaps that's just me) but what value do you see out there for him before Trade deadline? Better as 8th inning set up guy or closer? I would assume Pirates move him before July 31st, correct?
Bill Brink
10:36
Some team could acquire him for bullpen help, whether it's the eighth or ninth, sort of like the Pirates did with Joakim Soria a few years ago. He'll have value, possibly as a closer, possibly a setup man. Yes, I imagine the Pirates will move him because his contract is expiring.
Bucky20
10:36
The Braves getting that new first baseman we are not mentioning sure seems to mess up the "not really any good trades out there in May" theory of our front office, doesn't it?
Bill Brink
10:36
Indeed it does. Good eye.
Dan
10:37
Did his fastball always have that high contact rate though? Is he overthrowing the pitch?
Bill Brink
10:37
With Glasnow. Good question, hold please ...
10:40
Hitters are hitting .344 against his four-seamer this year, .412 against his sinker (.250 on the change, .132 on the curve). Last season they hit .300 against the fastball. So this would indicate that somehow the fastball is easier to square up. Could be overthrowing but I don't want to ascribe it to that for certain.
Andrew
10:41
When Polanco returns do you think he automatically goes back to cleanup or do they maybe try something differen? I know a lot of people want Cutch moved but I'm not sure they have anyone to put there other than Polanco.
Bill Brink
10:41
I do think they might try something different, although I don't know if they'll do it immediately when Polanco comes off the DL.
Sean from Cumberland
10:41
Who do you think is an internal option to replace Hurdle if he is not retain or let go early?
Tom
10:41
Is Tom Prince the next Pirate manager? Is there a potential GM in the organization?
Bill Brink
10:43
To be clear, I don't think Hurdle is in danger of being fired. I answer these questions in the context of the fact that his option for next year, like Huntington's, have not been renewed. Prince, as bench coach, would certainly be a candidate. There are potential GMs (Greg Smith, Kyle Stark, Kevan Graves) but if Huntington went somewhere I believe they would look externally as well.
Bucky20
10:43
Frazier, Mercer, Bell, Polanco, Harrison, Freese, McCutchen, Cervelli, Pitcher ?? Thoughts.
Bill Brink
10:44
Against a left-hander, possibly. Otherwise I don't like Mercer that high. And against a lefty, as good as Frazier has been against them this year, I think you'd see Hurdle put Harrison atop the order.
IndyFan
10:44
Why didn't Freese do a couple rehab games before coming back? He's looked a little off at the plate, especially those first couple games back.
Bill Brink
10:45
He's done this a long time, and he has a simple swing, not many moving parts to get timing down with.
Before we get to the lightning round, show of hands: Who stayed up until the end of the game last night?
Dan
10:46
I did and I regret it so so much
IndyFan
10:46
Not a chance, I was sawing logs...
Bucky20
10:46
I did but it was only midnight in New Mexico, I think that's cheating, haha
Bill Brink
10:46
Definitely cheating. OK, lightning round. Go.
Wayward
10:46
I have always like Kingham. Any chance we see him as a SP this season?
Bill Brink
10:47
Later in the year, yes. He just made his first start at triple-A in nearly two years, since his 2015 Tommy John surgery. Huntington said there was some rust, which is to be expected, but also some promising signs.
Dan
10:48
It was fun till 6th inning when Glasnow was legging out those hits
Shannon Gregory
10:48
I stayed up and have a new hatred for my Braves fan friends! I only hear from them when they beat the Pirates! 😡
Dan
10:48
Anyways, any updates on Bastardo? Is our bullpen set like this? Want to see Neverauskas and Santana soon too.
Bill Brink
10:50
Hurdle said we'd hear when Bastardo got on a mound for a true throwing program, so the fact that he hasn't yet tells us he's still a ways off. Hard to ignore what Santana is doing. Huntington talked about him Sunday:
"You go watch the stuff and the stuff is really good as well. He is a mature young man, doesn’t have a ton of innings under his belt. We’re looking for him to be able to continue to learn how to pitch the game and make adjustments on the fly, to learn how to recognize swings and continue with his development. He’s certainly doing everything that we want him and need him to do to believe he’s going to help us at some point here, maybe sooner than later."
IndyFan
10:50
How short is the leash for Williams right now? I love the guy, but with Brault tearing it up in Indy, why not throw Brault out there and see what he can do for a while?
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