Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 6.28.17
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Bill Brink
12:01
Welcome to this week's Pirates chat. Thanks for the questions, and keep them coming. Here we go ...
Chuck
12:01
In watching games on Root Sports, it is obvious that home plate umpires sometimes make bad calls, at least according to the strike zone tracker.  For example, home plate umpire Jerry Layne in last Wednesday night's game against the Brewers made some bad calls, most egregious a pitch to Josh Bell that should have been ball four and not strike three.   Not saying that Jerry Layne is an inferior umpire, but does major league baseball ever weed out incompetent  umps or have a procedure for doing so?
Bill Brink
12:04
Each home-plate ump receives a detailed report of their performance behind the plate in a format they can read on an iPad, at latest by the next morning if not very soon after the game. The strike zone is not uniform, like on TV, but scaled to the individual hitter (Aaron Judge has a different strike zone than Dustin Pedroia, for example). You'd be surprised; most of the time they get 90-95 percent of the pitches right, though there are always outliers like last week. As far as weeding out bad umps, I don't know the exact procedure but I'm sure enough of those bad reports will result in some sort of action, although you probably don't make the majors if you're not pretty precise with your zone.
Tachobill
12:04
What kind of dark magic did Neil H. engage in to get Cutch hitting ahead of the trade deadline?
Bill Brink
12:04
Morsmordre
JWBURGH
12:05
This McCutchen trade or stay talk is really crazy. Marte comes back in 3 weeks...clearly will need time. Polanco has done nothing and cutch is clearly best hitter and run producer for this offense challenged club. They aren't contenders w poor back end starters and a horrible bullpen. Is it as it seems a wait and see til end of July where Bucs lay in standings to decide to keep or firesale?
Bill Brink
12:06
With the way the division is right now, probably. You keep thinking the Cubs will pull it together, right, but we're halfway through the season and there are a lot of games in the bank. And can the Brewers keep this up? The other issue is, standing pat or adding would be aimed at a division title and a five-game NLDS, not a roll of the dice against Greinke in the wild-card game.
12:08
Light day on questions. What else do we have today?
12:11
No more questions? Nothing about McCutchen moving back to No. 3? The impending demise of Felipe Rivero after last night?
JWBURGH
12:12
Ok ill go again...Pull Kuhl outta rotation and bring up Brault and/ or Glasnow if he continues to imrove?
Bill Brink
12:13
If his next start or two doesn't result in more than five innings and Brault continues to shove (which he has since May 6) maybe you think about it. Glasnow has had three nice starts in triple-A, but that shouldn't come as a surprise, as dominating triple-A was never the issue.
12:14
OK lightning round. Go.
JWBURGH
12:17
Oh and a question  I really wanted to ask...Freese clearly isn't everyday player anymore. Obviously w/Kang fiasco and Marte not back yet what are options? Put Frazier at 3rd and more Jaso in OF til Marte returns? Also JHay can play 3rd at times and frazier 2nd.
Bill Brink
12:18
Honestly, Freese at third every day might be the best scenario defensively with Marte and Kang out. Frazier is better suited defensively for left than he is at third or second (despite playing shortstop at Mississippi State) and the outfield is not Jaso's strong suit.
Nate
12:20
If they decide to trade Cutch, what teams would even be in the market for him?
Bill Brink
12:24
That's a great question. I used to think the Dodgers, but their issues against lefties are not as pronounced and they're certainly not having any trouble scoring runs. Among contenders you can cross off the Brewers (division rivals), probably the Nats (already spent their prospect haul on Eaton and need bullpen help more than anything), Red Sox and Yankees (they've got OFs), Rockies and D-backs have guys, Indians have Zimmer, Rangers have Gomez and DeShields ... it could be a situation where an injury to a contender creates a need and possibly an overpay.
Nate
12:24
If the Bucs had signed Trea Turner in 2011, would Cole, Bell, Glasnow, and Turner have been the best OVERALL  team haul in draft history?
Bill Brink
12:25
Off the top of my head I don't know about draft history but that would have been a great class: A starter, a starting shortstop, a power-hitting first baseman and a talented young pitching prospect.
Wayward
12:25
I always thought that after Cutch and Watson, JayHay was an obvious trade candidate because of Fraziers ability to play 2B.  Is that realistic and what kind of return would he bring.
Bill Brink
12:27
Much more so now than last year, with Harrison healthy and hitting well. On one hand it makes sense, they could put Frazier at second when Marte returns and get rid of Harrison's salary but I don't think they're in any hurry to do that. He's been one of their two best hitters this year.
12:31
That's it for this week, thanks for the questions. We'll do this again next Wednesday from Philly.
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