Bill Brink's Pirates chat: 7.12.17
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Bill Brink
12:02
Good afternoon and thanks for coming by today's chat. We'll get going in a minute, so thanks for the questions you've already submitted and keep them coming. Here we go ...
Charly Brown
12:03
Would the Pirates consider trading Rivero?
Bill Brink
12:03
Nope, he's not going anywhere.
PhillyJake
12:03
Explain to me how this team gets swept at home by the losing Giants and then takes two of three on the road from the defending champs?
Bill Brink
12:05
As Josh Harrison likes to say, baseball's a funny game. And the Cubs are not the beast they were last season despite having most of the same players. Injuries to the rotation, no true leadoff hitter after Dexter Fowler left and underperformance from some hitters made them more vulnurable.
Mark T.
12:05
Middle relief continues to be a major problem. When can we expect Kuhl to be moved to the bullpen and Brault to inserted into the rotation?
Bill Brink
12:06
I don't think so, not when Kuhl is making strides each time out and turning into a solid starter. I get the notion behind it -- he can throw 99 with a good slider, let him go out and let it eat for a bit, and Brault has been nails since May 6 -- but I don't think they pull the plug on Kuhl as a starter just as he's showing improvement.
PhillyJake
12:06
I never expected Max Moroff to hit in the majors like he did in the minors.  But this is the other extreme.  Why is he having so little success?
Bill Brink
12:09
It's bat-to-ball issues that are killing him. He's really having trouble just getting the ball in play. But he's only swinging and missing at 11 percent of pitches so that tells you he's watching too many strikes as well.
Mark T.
12:09
Why call up Gosselin with Bostick having a better year with the bat?  Gosselin can't hit or field.  We  need a credible pinch hitter since Moroff has incredibly kept his job as an infield defensive replacement.
Will
12:10
I'm a big believer in giving guys an opportunity when they go down and perform well so I'm a little frustrated Brault isnt getting a shot but my question is with Moroff struggling as bad as he is and Gosselin has already struggled twice, why doesnt a guy like Chris Bostick get a longer look? He's been their most consistent bat and is versatile with speed.. doesnt need to come up and be a star just a solid UTIL guy.
Bill Brink
12:12
It's a good question. June was tough on Bostick, but he's hit well in July (.333/.436/.485) with five walks and three strikeouts. The only reason that makes sense is they like having a second player on the roster who can play shortstop, because Frazier can't, but that still leaves them with a weak bench.
Bill LA Pirates
12:13
Jose Osuna is a monster hitter and showed off his great outfield arm recently. Pirates usually win when he starts. Why isn't he playing left field every day?
Bill Brink
12:15
He's still got a .286 OBP and since May 3 he's hitting .224 with a .245 OBP. His five homers in that time have been productive, for sure. But while he showed off his arm, his range in left is not very good.
TMann
12:15
Any chance Polanco  would be traded? I understand he has a high up side, but from watching guys with his body type a swing for years, they don't normally translate to success.  Willie McCovey would be an exception. Polanco could bring a decent return
Bill Brink
12:16
Don't think so. Trading Polanco this soon after extending him (and remember, they tried to extend him before he even debuted) would tell other teams that they don't see potential, that they've given up on him. He wouldn't bring as much back in that case. Also, who plays right next year, when they might contend?
Chuck
12:18
An excuse the Pirates front office makes for not spending money is that Pittsburgh is a small market team and thus doesn't have the money many other teams have.  Aren't the Steelers and Penguins in a small market?  Yet, they consistently field contending teams that sometimes win championships.   If they are all in a small market, how can the Pens and Steelers have the money to pay for better players but not the Pirates?  I'm obviously not understanding something.  I'm sure that there is more to it than Bob Nutting being tightfisted like so many Pirate fans think.  Can you enlighten me on this matter?
Bill Brink
12:19
There are some differences. The NFL and NHL both have salary caps, meaning they also both have "floors." They're not exactly floors, and the NFL one is complicated, but teams have to stay within a certain range.
Halvybuckets
12:19
Do you get the sense the Pirates have had any trade talks about their players so far?
Bill Brink
12:21
Teams engage in tons more trade talks than are publicly reported, so I'm certain they have been having trade talks almost constantly. They certainly intensify this time of year, but what I've heard is that the Pirates are gathering information to go either way and then take it to the deadline. Hardly breaking news, it makes sense to do that with where they are.
Matt
12:21
If they are treading water up to the deadline, what kind of approach do you see them taking.
Bill Brink
12:22
It would be tough to justify buying when they're under .500. If they believe the rotation and bullpen will stabilize and Marte will add a boost, though, they could make some upgrades. They're still a winning streak and a couple losses by the Brewers away from first, and they play the Brewers four times next week.
Bill
12:22
Next two weeks are crucial but in your opinion do the Pirate make some type of move or any chance they stand pat?
Bill Brink
12:23
A lot of it depends on how they do against the Cardinals and Brewers next week. Right now, they'd probably sell, but if they go 6-1 against the division rivals next week that changes the conversation.
Mike Diaz
12:23
Is it just me or is Polanco atrocious defensively?
Bill Brink
12:23
Not all the time, but there are more missed plays than you would expect given his experience.
PhillyJake
12:23
There was a knock on Moroff that he was watching too many pitches early in his minor league career.  He overcame that in the past year or two.  Safe to say, based on your answer, he's regressed back to this?
Bill Brink
12:24
The eye test tells me yes, though it's been a small sample size to watch. I remember Huntington talking about him needing to be more aggressive, and he was, early this season.
Halvybuckets
12:24
With MLB stepping in to help Kang get a visa, does he have any chance of playing this year?
Bill Brink
12:25
There's a chance, but it's getting late, and with the Pirates, MLB and the MLBPA all helping and still nothing, it's looking slim.
Dave
12:25
One outfielder has missed the season so far because of PED's.  One outfielder is hitting and "fielding" way below his hype.  Why ar we considering trading the other one, who is our best hitter ?
Bill Brink
12:26
Because he's a free agent after next season, they won't re-sign him and they don't want to lose him for nothing. His value might never be higher.
Don Slaught
12:26
What could a package of Gerrit Cole and Cutch to the Cubs get in return?
Bill Brink
12:27
Cole and McCutchen to a division rival? Oh man. Eloy Jimenez, Montgomery, Bryant, Almora, Rizzo ... I don't think such a trade would happen.
Bake
12:27
Bill, Huntington in tricky spot this deadline with the team on the fringe of contention. Do you think he will buy or sell? Or is there is middle ground i.e. trade Watson, but keep Cutch and Cole?
Bill Brink
12:28
There definitely is a middle ground where they could trade Watson and/or Nicasio and keep Cole and/or McCutchen. Too soon to tell on whether they buy or sell, so much depends on next week.
Guest
12:30
Who should we expect to be traded at the deadline? Watson?
Bill Brink
12:30
Watson would be one who could go. Possibly McCutchen. Possibly Nicasio.
Donald Gasbarre
12:30
Do you think that the pirates might get offered a great deal for Gerrit Cole and would they pull the trigger on it?
Bill Brink
12:31
They might be offered a great deal, but I don't think they take it unless they seem to think they won't compete next season, which, right now, it looks like they could.
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