Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 6.21.17
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Bill Brink
12:00
Hey everyone and welcome to this week's Pirates chat. Thanks for all the questions you've already submitted and keep them coming. Here we go ...
BuccoFanFromSpain
12:00
Hi Mr. Brink. Always a pleasure to read your chats. The Cutch seems unstopable right now and it's obvious that his value could give the Pirates a big return if they trade him. Even if the division is close i think they will trade him. Your thoughts???
Bill Brink
12:02
It depends on the front office's thought process regarding the division. If their models suggest the Cubs are going to get hot, they might still look to trade him. If they look at the games already in the bank and say, we've got a shot at this, they might hold him. It seems more likely than not, though, that they move him.
TN
12:02
Would/should the Pirates consider trading Kang?
Bill Brink
12:04
They won't be able to find a taker; he still can't get into the country. As to whether they should, it would rid them of a headache but could also indicate to future free-agent targets that the team will cut bait, rather than help a player with personal issues (not condoning them, mind you, but help them).
Rob
12:04
Do you see Osuna getting more playing time at first with his performance recently?
Chuck
12:04
Why does Hurdle keep Osuna and Diaz largely on the bench?  When they played for Polanco and Cervelli, they hit extremely well.  When Polanco returned to the lineup last week, Osuna had more RBIs and home runs than Polanco, yet Osuna has not started until last night for Bell.   Diaz ha not only hit well, but he is a very good defensive catcher.  I thought that Hurdle believed in playing the players who had the hot bats.
Bill Brink
12:06
I don't think they think it's in their best interest to take Bell out of the lineup. Yes, I know his May numbers. He's still a big threat when he's right, and they want to give him the chance to get right so he can play first for them for a while. As far as Cervelli, Diaz has had a hot run with the bat and has a strong arm, but they still feel their best defensive/game calling move is Cervelli, plus he's the one getting paid.
Pirates Fan
12:06
Since Stew has been activated from the DL the question has been - "Will the Pirates keep 3 catchers?" The answer that comes up the most is a certain "No." and the likely candidate to depart is Elias Diaz. If this scenario plays out and Diaz is sent back down to AAA because management feels he needs to get his reps doesn't that show that the Pirates organization as a whole really is NOT interesting in winning? In my opinion Diaz is better defensively and from what I have seen has a better bat. Please tell me where I am off in this train of thought.
Bill
12:07
The team is going to eventually go back to 2 catchers and being that NH likes to keep assets, I fully expect it to be Diaz back to Indy, which I believe is a mistake. If that happens, doesnt it send a bad message to the younger players in the organization? Come up to MLB roster, perform well and still get sent down in favor of a older veteran player?
Bill Brink
12:09
Similar questions, so I'll get to them together. It's about depth. It's not really in question that Diaz provides more to the team than Stewart at this point, though Stewart has more experience and game-calling savvy. The issue is, say they designate Stewart for assignment and roll with Cervelli and Diaz. Then Cervelli's foot acts up, or he gets dinged up in the way that catchers do. Now you've got Diaz and Stallings. Something happens to Diaz, you're starting Stallings and Jackson Williams, and we're back to the Erik Kratz-Eric Fryer tandem days.
BobbyToledo
12:09
Cutch is back. Jordy is on fire. Cole has locked it down. Marte's return is on the horizon. And the division can be had. Could you give a few reasons on why the FO would benefit from adding a starter and bench piece at the trade line and going for it? Could you give a few reasons on why Cutch, Jordy, and Cole are ripe for trades, so they may go that route?
Bill Brink
12:12
The biggest reason to add is that the division is within reach. They wouldn't be giving up assets to roll the dice against Kershaw or Greinke in a wild-card game. But moving McCutchen after this resurgence (or even moving Cole, which I'm not sure they do because they need him if they want to contend next year) would give them a unique opportunity to stock the farm system all at once.
Tyler Blackburn
12:12
Just have a question regarding Meadows, do you think he Will be up at some point this year, and if yes when will that be? Thanks
Bill Brink
12:13
He will be up at some point this year, but with top prospects, the Pirates generally like to promote them only when they have a chance to play every day rather than sit on the bench. An extended absence due to injury, or a trade of McCutchen, could create that opportunity.
Pirates Fan
12:13
When will the Pirates let Watson return to his role as the 8th inning "get the team to the best closer in the league" role that he was so good at The pst few years? He got 2 big outs last night and getting to Rivero is obviously the biggest hole in the bullpen that needs plugged. Your thoughts?
Bill Brink
12:14
When he shows them he's past the issues that he's dealt with this year, especially keeping the ball in the park, and has done it for a little while.
PhillyJake
12:17
I understand that lefties are hitting Kuhl very well, but I don't understand why.  Can you shed some light on what a lefty sees against Kuhl that a righty doesn't?
Bill Brink
12:19
They're crushing his fastball. .480 in April, .333 in May, .625 in June. It's not uncommon for lefties to hit righty fastballs well, but those are dramatic numbers. It suggests a combination of a lack of deception, a lack of downward angle and/or a lack of movement.
Pirates Fan
12:19
Has Cutch done enough in the last month make the all-star team?
Bill Brink
12:20
I don't think so. Those first seven weeks were rough. Although there are always injury replacements.
Stauver
12:20
Do you think there is any hope of Polanco learning how to play his position? It seems that most balls hit in the air to RF are an adventure.
Bill Brink
12:20
It continues to be an adventure at times, though there is hope. During the last homestand he made three plays in a a span of two days going back and to his right toward the wall and the track, plays I didn't think he'd make, and plays he wouldn't have made last year.
Pirates Fan
12:21
How long will the Pirates wait for Glasnow to be a solid starter? He seems to inneficient to ever succeed in that role. I think he could really help this ballclub out in the pen as setup man. Your thoughts?
Bill Brink
12:21
Maybe at some point, but he's still 23, so I don't think they'll pull the plug on starting just yet.
Stauver
12:21
After last nights performance I think the only thing Kuhl is lacking is confidence. your thoughts?
Bill Brink
12:23
I never like to assume or imply lack of confidence without hearing it from the player himself, but I understand the notion, because he's got the stuff. I've heard a similar argument with Glasnow. I think more than anything, realizing just how good his stuff is without trying to make it harder or nastier will help him. The curve should help too.
Pirates Fan
12:23
Are Kuhl and Williams doing enough to keep their spots in the rotation?
Bill Brink
12:25
I think so. Williams had one poor start in a stretch of six good ones. Kuhl, you'd like to see more length out of. He hasn't pitched more than five innings since April. Worth noting that three of those starts he was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the fifth with pitches left in the tank because there were runners on, but still. But it's a good question, because ...
Justin
12:25
Every time I look, Drew Hutchison's ERA gets lower, although is peripherals suggest his mid-3s ERA is a bit lucky.  Do you have any insight on if he's made any strides forward throughout the year?  He now might have the highest chance at being a major leaguer of any guy in that trade haha, Liriano included.
Bill Brink
12:26
He's gone seven innings in each of his past two starts, struck out 10 without walking anyone in his most recent one and has a 2.14 ERA in June. Keeping the ball in the park has helped, he had three multi-homer games through May and none in June.
PiratesFan4Life
12:29
If quality starting pitching is considered a premium in the industry, why are the Pirates continuing to stack the farm system and not trade any of their minor league starters for quality bats?  They haven't had a one/two punch since McCutchen has come up.  Adams would have fit nicely behind Cutch in the 4 hole.
Bill Brink
12:30
The Pirates want to keep their starters for the same reason other teams would want them in a trade, and you're exactly right: good young controllable starting pitching comes is valuable. And pitchers get hurt so often that Huntington likes to have as much starting depth as possible.
Harold H.
12:30
Good afternoon, Mr Brink. It appears that, in regards to the PBC closer situation, that upper mgt is calling shots - dictating who they wants to get "saves". I can't imagine that Clint H didn't want to use Rivero to shut the door on the Cubs last week when Nicasio/Watson blew it. Your take?
Bill Brink
12:32
It wasn't upper management calling the shots. I liked the call: Use Rivero against the top of the Cubs' order, which had the lefty Rizzo, the switch-hittin Happ, the lefty Schwarber and the lefty Heyward, then let Nicasio (who to that point had been nails) come in and get three outs. Just didn't work.
Pitt.Strong
12:33
Do you think we should pick up the newly DFA'd Saunders or Gomez for help in OF or help in the pen?
Bill Brink
12:33
If the Phillies deemed them unworthy of continuing to hold a roster spot, I can't imagine the Pirates would offer them one, and they've already been down the road with Gomez.
Stauver
12:34
Of the three catchers, who do you think is the most reliable physically>
Bill Brink
12:34
Probably Diaz simply because he has the least mileage. Cervelli and Stewart have been behind the plate getting beat up for a long time.
PiratesFan4Life
12:35
If the Pirates are smart they lock Cutch up for the rest of his career.  IMO there's too many looking at the return rather than the player they already have.  I don't see any team giving up a ton for Cutch like the Pirates think.  You need veterans to win in the playoffs, just making it there is not enough.  Why not package a couple prospects and see if they can pick up a bat or bullpen help?
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