Jenn Menendez's Pirates baseball chat transcript: 3.4.14


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Jenn Menendez: Alright, thanks for joining. Let's get started.

Keith: Do you feel Vin Mazzaro has the inside edge on the last bullpen spot? He had such a solid season last year that it's almost hard to believe he's competing for a spot in the bullpen.

Jenn Menendez: I think Vin Mazzaro definitely has a leg-up for that final bullpen spot heading into the start of the season, but I say that based largely on his performance last season. There's not a huge sample size for any of the pitchers yet in spring training, and Mazzaro is no exception. He's pitched in two games so far – one inning in each - and is scheduled to get a chance to pitch again today. If we assume that six spots are going to Grilli, Melancon, Watson, Wilson then Gomez and Pimental it leaves that last spot a battle between Mazzaro, Morris and Jared Hughes and maybe Duke Welker.

Lee Foo the Rug Bug: Jenn....do you sense that a trade may be in the offing, such as a reliever or some of our minor league surplus?

Jenn Menendez: No word of anything imminent right now. But certainly that's where the Pirates have some excess value.

PhillyJake: Why hasn't Lambo hit 30 HRs in spring training yet?

PhillyJake: Seriously, how does he look at first base?

Jenn Menendez: Well Lambo has just one hit and a walk in 11 at-bats but I wouldn't get concerned just yet. He still deserves plenty of time to produce. As for his play at first base, Hurdle has sounded pretty optimistic about him and stressed he'll get plenty of reps. He did make a nice scoop on a hard hit grounder yesterday.

BFFL: While G4 is the Nostradamus of the PBC Asylum, do you have any predictions as it pertains to who will be our 1B on opening day? Do you see a move coming or do we have what we have....

Jenn Menendez: Predictions are worse than assumptions, but since that's what people love to read I would say you're going to see a Gaby Sanchez/Andrew Lambo platoon at first base to start the season. I know that's not what some of you want to hear, but it could surprise you.

PhillyJake: What chance do Locke or Pimentel have of unseating Volquez for the fifth spot in the rotation? We know what the contracts say. What does the vibe in camp tell you ?

Jenn Menendez: Volquez is going to get his first start early next week against the Orioles, so it's a bit early to write him out of the rotation considering his salary. But yes Jeff Locke was an all-star last year and had some back problems that may have contributed to his second half decline. Surely if he can recreate what he did last year that spot could still be his. As for Pimental, let's see how spring training goes.

BobbyToledo: It's amazing how much smaller Travis Snider looks (and boyish in the face sans facial hair). It looked too beefy last year for sure. How much weight did he lose and will he be able to rediscover what made him a coveted prospect at one time?

Jenn Menendez: I don't know how much weight Travis Snider lost, but he does look noticeably slimmer and more cut. Had a chance to speak with him yesterday for the first time this spring and he sounded very focused and like he learned a lot about himself and the business of baseball over the last year.

Hunter: Any signs that the injuries to Irwin or Locke are at all serious or does it sound like they're simply being cautious this early in the spring?

Jenn Menendez: Not sure about Irwin. As for Locke, we just learned this morning he has soreness in his right side that will keep him from his scheduled smart tomorrow in Dunedin. Doesn't sound like anything serious but we'll know more when we get a chance to speak with Clint Hurdle after the game today. Overall I'd say they're being very cautious with everyone who has even a minor issue. It's spring. They're valuable. Why push it?

Guest: Since being down at Spring Training what are your favorite stadiums?

Jenn Menendez: I've only been down for the games since Saturday, so I've seen McKechnie, Bright House in Clearwater and now Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. All three are pretty cool in different ways. McKechnie has a bit of an old school feel with the grandstand which I like, but Bright House where the Phillies play was also really nice.

G4: What's the future for Jared Hughes? Any shot he sticks?

Jenn Menendez: Jared Hughes certainly has a chance to stick, but even if he does start the season in Class AAA we all know that pitching puts so much stress on the body and someone is bound to go on the DL at some point.

G4: Seen Grilli throw yet? Is it free and easy? When he came back last year did not look the same - looked to be pushing the ball.

Jenn Menendez: I have not seen Grilli throw yet and his spring debut is on tap for Thursday. Caught up with him quickly this morning and he sounded raring to go. He's a guy who's been around the block so guessing he knows his body well and is taking spring at the pace that is comfortable.

JAL: Should we be concerned that Walker hasn't played much because his side was sore "from too much swinging"?

Jenn Menendez: Walker has had five at-bats in two games, but so far have not learned anything that tells me you should be concerned.

G4: Anyone jump out to you as best-shape-of-their-life or better yet anyone jumping out to you as being out-of-shape?

Jenn Menendez: Travis Snider and Gaby Sanchez both look great compared to the end of last season. No one has struck me as looking out of shape.

Teke Redman: What are the expectations of Travis Snider from Pirate Mgmt this year? Can he have a Brandon Moss type of year if he gets more at bats?

Jenn Menendez: They want a solid bat and solid play in right field from him. Whether he wins the RF job or plays off the bench they still want all the same things from him.

Scott Kliesen: Cole or Taillon?

Jenn Menendez: Haven't seen Taillon pitch yet so I'd be going on last year only and then the choice is obvious: Cole.

JAL: Does McGuiness have the talent to make the roster or is his hitting just spring training fluff that won't translate to MLB

Jenn Menendez: He's 5-for-10 with 2 RBI, but too small of a sample size to say how that will translate yet.

Jenn Menendez: Thank you for joining me today, and I'll be back again next week taking your questions. Think we're sticking with Tuesday at Noon. Cheers.


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