Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 6.21.17
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Bill Brink
12:36
They generally don't like to pay for past performance, which is what they'd have to do with an extension. Getting a bat or some bullpen help, or a stater, would help the club; for the Pirates to do it, they'd need to convince themselves they have a legitimate shot at the division.
Marvin
12:36
If the Central Division remains close, will the Pirates try to trade for a dependable somewhat expensive starting pitcher?
Bill Brink
12:38
Too soon to tell. Depends on how Williams and Kuhl do going forward, and if they're not good, the Pirates might not be in the mood to add anyway.
Steve Kemp
12:38
Do you believe Cutchs surge is directly related to moving to 6th hole? Thanks.
Bill Brink
12:38
Not the sole reason, but yes, related. McCutchen said he has more of a chance to see what the pitcher is throwing that day with five batters ahead of him rather than two. He used to hit in the first inning every game and might see three pitches, all fastballs, before his at-bat.
Harold H.
12:39
The Pens and Steelers goal - every year - is to win the league championship.  How can the PBC change fans' (like mine) opinion that they are just interested in staying somewhat competitive - and then hope for the best after that?
Bill Brink
12:40
Think back to the past two years. 2015, they had a great team and then had some injuries, so they went and got Soria, Happ, Ramirez and Blanton, adding roughly $8 or $9 million in payroll, won 98 games and then ran into Arrieta. I think they made a good case there that they wanted to win. Then the following year they package two prospects in a salary dump and the perception changes. I think they have proved they want to win but it goes season to season.
PhillyJake
12:41
Meadows is only 22.  If he's not getting the job done, why rush him up to the majors this year?
Bill Brink
12:41
I don't think they will rush him. They'll call him up if there's a spot to play and, ideally, if his minor league performance means he's earned it.
LA Matt
12:42
When it comes to catching and "game-calling," is it the catcher who actually decides what pitch and location to call or is it someone on the bench making the actual call? It seems to me from watching TV broadcasts that the catcher always looks to the bench first and then signals the pitcher.
Bill Brink
12:42
Little bit of both, depends on the situation. You see more game-calling from the bench in the amateur and college ranks, in the minors maybe, and less with more experienced catchers. With the Pirates you see pickoffs and back picks called from the bench sometimes.
Nate
12:43
Can you think of any contending teams that would actually have room/interest in Cutch?  What would that team have to offer?
Bill Brink
12:43
The Dodgers could make some sense. More likely you could see a contender that loses an outfielder in the next month be a player for him.
FrankieD
12:43
Watson: going through a one-year rough spell, or losing the battle against overuse / father time / cooked arm? I believe I read somewhere that Watson leads all MLB League relievers in innings pitched since 2012.
Bill Brink
12:45
He told me in Baltimore that he didn't think the use over the years had affected him, but it's hard to ignore. Off the top of my head, he's had at least 67 appearances in each year since 2012. I don't think he was overused, but the innings do add up, and it might be affecting him without him being "hurt" if that makes sense. It's also possible he's searching for something, like he was at the start of 2013, and hasn't recovered his previous form.
Bill
12:45
Do you feel that Brault will get a look in the rotation? I keep going back to thinking how good Kuhl could be in the pen in short outings
Bill Brink
12:46
Hard to ignore Brault's 1.29 ERA and .195 batting average against since May 6. The Pirates could swap Williams or Kuhl and go with Brault or Hutchison if they don't feel Williams or Kuhl are getting it done.
Harold H.
12:46
Josh Bell's natural position is in the outfield.  The amount of time spent trying to make him a first baseman could be impacting his hitting. Your thoughts?  Possible solution?
Bill Brink
12:46
This is the fourth calendar year he's played first , so I don't think that is the issue.
BW
12:47
What do they do with Frazier once Marte comes back? He's a good leadoff hitter and you hate to remove his bat from the lineup
Bill Brink
12:48
They can get him some starts at second or third, and the occasional spot start, but Marte will bump him.
Behind Enemy Lines in Baltimore
12:48
Hi Bill: If the Pirates make a deal to add to make a run, who in the system do you think they'd be willing to give up?
Bill Brink
12:49
It all depends on who they get, and for how many years that player is under team control. They don't like giving up top guys, so I can't imagine Hayes/Newman/Keller and those types would be on the table, especially considering they're still under .500.
joe from FL
12:49
Is period of time a player is under team control or contract impacted by suspensions (marte) or Kang's situation?  In Kang's situation, I know they aren't paying him for this time, but is he also expiring time on the existing contract?
Bill Brink
12:52
Players are on the restricted list do not accrue service time, so their free agency status is adjusted accordingly. Marte will lose half a year of service, though he's on an extension so it doesn't matter as much. Kang's free agency will be pushed back, but he also has a clause in his contract stating that he would be released upon its completion, so that will be interesting to see how those intersect.
Stauver
12:54
last night Watson threw 10 pitches, Hudson 13 and Nicasio 18. Do you think that any of them could have pitched into the following inning and save Rivero especially with a 4 run lead?
Bill Brink
12:54
Watson would have been the most likely candidate, but Hurdle has used all three of those guys as one-inning relievers and probably would not have wanted to deviate from it if he didn't have to and/or without talking to them about it first.
Bill
12:55
Take a gamble on Feliz again?
Bill Brink
12:55
It's been a rough go with the walks and homers, so I don't think they would see him as an upgrade over their internal options.
Mark
12:55
Why is there only talk about unloading Cutch's contract at the deadline, why not Cervelli too.  Aren't they similar in age and salary?
Bill Brink
12:57
Cervelli's three-year, $31 million extension began this season, while McCutchen has a $14.5 million option for next year. The main issues are depth and years of control. The Pirates have Cervelli for three years, and don't have much behind him other than Diaz. They have options to play the outfield without McCutchen.
Pirates Fan
12:57
What do you think it would cost to lock up Cutch for the rest of his career in Pittsburgh? He basically resurrected the franchise. His wife's family lives 2 hours away. And he seems like a guy you would want on your team even late into his career. Your thoughts.
Bill Brink
12:58
Looking at other outfield contracts, you've got Hunter Pence at five and $90 mil, Jacoby Ellsbury at seven and $153, Adam Jones at six and $85, so it would be expensive.
LA Matt
12:58
Best guess: 2017 NL Central Division champs?
Bill Brink
12:58
Cubs
BW
12:58
To follow up on the Frazier question...if they're in contention for the division, how do you sit a guy who is hitting well for someone who can't play in the post season?
Bill Brink
12:59
They might need Marte to get them to the postseason, and if September rolls around and they need to keep Frazier involved for possible playoff games, they'll happily cross that bridge when they come to it.
Fish Monger
12:59
I think there are way too many dreamers in this chat. The Pirates are still under .500 and have been very inconsistent. Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they lose the next 2 games against Milwaukee and fall 6 games back again. Do you really think this team with it's cheap payroll has a chance to win the division?
Bill Brink
1:00
Sure, they have a chance, but that's assuming the Cubs and Cardinals continue to play like this and I'm not sure that's feasible.
Pirates Fan
1:00
Do the Pirates have a better chance to win the division or playing well and catching a team from the west who falls back to reality?
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