Jenn Menendez's Pirates baseball chat transcript: 5.9.14

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Jenn Menendez: Thanks for joining me. Let's get started.

Eric Scot: If the Pirates were confident they could sign Polanco past his Arb years, he would be up by now. Maybe because he turned down their deal, they are holding off bringing him up due to the lack of confidence they could sign him long-term?

Jenn Menendez: The Pirates can save a year of arbitration with Polanco by delaying his promotion until June. Different story had he signed the deal they reportedly offered him, but he didn't, so I think it's as simple as that.

Rich: Any idea if the pirates are regretting now not paying the price for mark Appel. I think I would b

Jenn Menendez: The Mark Appel situation predates my time on the beat, but from what I understand it was his choice to return to school, get a degree and hold out for more $$.

Zach: who will be called up today?

Jenn Menendez: Don't know. Lambo would've been the likely choice if he hadn't just gone on the DL, but I do think it's likely to be a hitter and not a pitcher.

Guest: I wonder if they didnt name a call up yesterday to replace Irwin to give one last stab at trying to sign Polanco

Jenn Menendez: I know the groundswell has been rising here on Polanco, but I don't think we see him tonight. Sorry.

Jenn Menendez: A couple of you have left Steelers questions in here, so hoping you have found your way to that chat by now.

Jenn Menendez: Alright, what else is on your minds?

Guest: ajy word on Grilli, Wandy, or Martin yet

Jenn Menendez: Nothing definitive, as in when exactly they'll return to the roster, but each one has reported improvement. My guess is you see Martin first, then Grilli, then Wandy. Just a guess.

Pittsburgh412: Any chance we see CUTCH bat second, where saber metrics say he should?

Jenn Menendez: If you bat McCutchen second, who do you bat third? Walker? I'm not sure what sabermetrics say about where McCutchen should bat, but I've long thought in a perfect lineup with all the right pieces he would be a perfect No. 2 hitter.

Guest: who has a better chance of coming back to last years form starters or relievers

Jenn Menendez: Hmm, tough call on that one, because I see both turning it around. But collectively, as a group, there are fewer variables among the starters and we've seen two very strong starts this week already, so I'd go with the starters.

Alan: just your guess, does Polanco bat leadoff in the lineup whenever he coems up

Pittsburgh412: When polanco does eventually come up, do they bat him lead off? Or do they eventually plan to put marte back in the lead off spot?

Jenn Menendez: You know, I've been thinking about that and it's an intriguing idea to bat him leadoff. I suspect that call will be more of a gut call Hurdle will have to make rather than looking just at the numbers. Marte obviously has the perfect speed for a leadoff hitter, but he's been getting on base more bumped down in the lineup...so that's a quandary.

Alan: Just a comment it seems like, from the strike zone Root puts on TV, Alvarez get some of the worst strike calls I have ever seen

Jenn Menendez: Yeah, some guys do.

Pittsburgh412: Are there serious concerns within the organization about tony sanchez's defense? He's looked pretty bad so far. And when he was drafted he supposedly was strong defensively and major league ready at the time. It was his offense that was the concern

Jenn Menendez: It depends what you mean by "serious" here. There is obviously some concern but I think there is also a sense that his communication with the pitchers is improving dramatically. Remember they brought in Stewart for a reason. Sanchez was expected to be in Class AAA working on his defense and playing everyday.

Marcus: I don't think its a good idea to move marte back to lead off. His production and the teams has really increased since he moved. My question is this....when the pirates need to use a 5th starter again who do you think it will be...

Jenn Menendez: I think it's Brandon Cumpton again. I think he made a case for himself.

Alan: When they need 5 starters again does Brandon Cumpton get a shot?

Jenn Menendez: I think so, but they don't ask me.

Pittsburgh412: In your opinion when polanco comes up who do you expect to get the DFA? Snider?

Jenn Menendez: He's the most likely candidate, but they do like using him off the bench so I honestly don't know.

Guest: I see the same people asking questions here and mine still hasn't been addressed...

Jenn Menendez: If you don't put up a name they all come up as "Guest" - and there are several in here.

Guest: As of right now. Your prediction on the pirates final regular season record?

Jenn Menendez: Too many variables over the next month. They could steadily improve and pass .500 by the end again, or they could be in serious trouble by the end of June.

Pittsburgh412: Any feeling on if there will be any hard feelings in Milwaukee when the pirates visit on Tuesday?

Jenn Menendez: Talked about this the other day, and would think there are more pressing things for the Pirates to worry about than that. But I'm also not naive to think it won't stir up emotion. We will see...

Guest: If Dickerson gets the call his contract would have to purchased, who gets the boot from the 40 man if that's the case?

Jenn Menendez: Not sure I see someone getting the call who isn't on the 40-man already. Morel, McGuiness, and Decker are on the 40-man. But the Pirates do surprise sometimes so who knows.

Alan: has Tailon had his surgery yet

Jenn Menendez: Yes, about a month ago now.

Pittsburgh412: Do you think the pirates will run Wandy out there as a starter when healthy even though he obviously doesn't have anything left? 8 million reasons why obviously. Or a chance he goes to bullpen?

Jenn Menendez: I doubt he goes to the bullpen. I think they'll keep him making rehab starts as long as they need to frankly.

Alan: Polanco seems fast how does his speed compare with Marte and McCutcheon

Jenn Menendez: From what I saw in spring training Polanco's speed is more deceiving. He has a long gait, and it almost doesn't look like he's covering much ground, until you see how much ground he just covered. If that makes sense.

Pittsburgh412: After the strong showing by Casey Sadler, has he opened some eyes within the orginization as a legit prospect? And a serious starting depth option?

Jenn Menendez: A legit prospect? Yes, but the question is whether they see him as a reliever or starter. That's still playing out.

Terry Martin: What is the early return on Ike Davis as a Bucco?

Guest: When Polanco gets the call and Martin is healthy I think it will be Tony Sanchez that gets sent to the minors

Jenn Menendez: Davis had a rough stretch after the grand slam, but seems to be coming around again. I think it will pay off.

Jenn Menendez: And yes, when Martin is healthy, Sanchez is the obvious guy to go. That's likely to happen sooner than later, and the Polanco move is looking to happen later than sooner.

Mike: Pretty excited to see Cole pitch in Yankee Stadium next week

Jenn Menendez: Enjoy. Bill Brink will cover that series.

Guest: hindsight i guess is 20/20...but i always kind of like Garret Jones....seems like hes having an ok season in Miami. do you feel pirates would have been better holding onto him? its not like Miami broke the bank for him....

Jenn Menendez: I have not followed his season super closely, but I think they needed an upgrade at first and somebody had to go.

Jenn Menendez: Well thanks very much for joining me today folks. Bill will chat again early next week. Have a great day.


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