Poll Question: Who should start Sunday? Answer #1: Adam Wilk (7.7%) Answer #2: Casey Sadler (7.7%) Answer #3: Vance Worley (46.1%) Answer #4: Jay Jackson (0%) Answer #5: Stolmy Pimentel (38.5%)
Bill Brink: Here we go...
Polka Bill: There are still a few hours to trade for Samardzija before he shuts us down tonight. If you were to make an offer to the Cubs, who would you offer up?
Bill Brink: Given the Cubs' relative lack of impact pitching prospects, reason would dictate that Nick Kingham and/or Tyler Glasnow would be involved, but that's not based on reporting or anything I've read, just putting the pieces together.
I don't think you will see the Pirates pull the trigger on Samardzija or Price. They will be in the mix but I bet they go elsewhere.
James: What do you think is wrong with Liriano this season?
Bill Brink: Other than the fact that he's currently on the DL because of an oblique strain, Liriano has had issues with command and inconsistency this season. He hasn't thrown as many strikes as last year, he's been behind in the count and he's pitched out of the stretch much more frequently.
Will: should Pirates reconsider Justin Wilson out of the pen and stretch him to start? How confident are they in Pimentol in that role? He looked promising last year but the drop is velocity in worrisome. Has he regained any of it post injury/rehab? There's a need now, but even moreso for 2015
Bill Brink: We don't know if Pimentel's velocity has come back because he just came off the DL yesterday and hasn't pitched yet. The Pirates see him as a candidate for the 2015 rotation and possibly as a starter later this year, though the issue becomes stretching him out without him having any minor league options.
They won't stretch Wilson out because his stuff plays better in relief, he had control problems as a starter and they don't have another good lefty to fill in, especially one who throws 97.
Jesse: Are the pirates really this bad at base running, or are they just in a bad slump right now?
Bill Brink: They're not this bad. They have just had a really awful week, and Marte has been a big part of it. Polanco got a little unlucky when Davis hit that liner right at Barney, but he made it look worse by just walking off the field.
Jeff LaLonde: No that Pittsburgh has signed Gushue where does he fit into the catcher plans and where does he start to play at.
Bill Brink: That happened half an hour ago, so I can't say with much certainty where he'll start. He's a college guy who could go to West Virginia, but he's also young because he enrolled early.
Rod Scurry: Who may be the Pitchers the Pirates may look to trade for? Is Bronson Arroyo a possibilty? I know he has a pretty big contract.
Bill Brink: That's the right neighborhood. Brandon McCarthy is also a possibility.
Guest: Is Harrison going on the DL?
Polka Bill: Any update today on Harrison's ankle injury? If he's DL bound, what move do you foresee made to replace him?
Bill Brink: We don't get into the clubhouse until 3:15 and we don't meet with Hurdle until 3:40, so we won't know anything more about Harrison's ankle injury until then.
Joe Browne: Is this team going to be in contention so much that you would make a big deal for say a David Price or is this season starting to slip away?
Bill Brink: They'd have to go on quite a run to think trading for Price would help, but they need two or three starters the way their rotation is going so I don't see it.
Old School: I can't understand why Vin M is bounced around while Gomez retains his spot. am I missing osmehting? Gomez was a nice find last year but Mazarro just seems better.
Bill Brink: Because the Pirates can get Mazzaro through waivers -- they've done so twice -- and they don't think they can do that with Gomez.
JAL: With Worley pulled from his Friday start and Kingham promoted to Indy to take that start can we assume Worley likely to start Sunday for the Pirates?
Bill Brink: If the report concerning those moves are correct, then yes, it indicates Worley is a leading candidate for Sunday.
Guest: Is Edison Vosquez now the ace of this staff?
Bill Brink: That's one way to look at it, though it doesn't seem that way for long. Cole should be back soon.
JAL: Can you explain what was supposed to happen on the play with Marte at 3rd, Mercer at 1st, and Snider hitting a popup
Bill Brink: Mercer took off for second and drew a throw, and Marte was supposed to bolt for home as soon as the ball was released. He hesitated and was caught in no-man's land.
Guest: Where does Polanco's nickname of El Coffee originate from?
Bill Brink: The way I heard it, he was called El Coffee because he's strong, like ... coffee. Seems a little thin to me, so there might be more to it, but that's what I've heard.
Polka Bill: Did Ishikawa ever catch on with another organization?
Bill Brink: He went to the Giants' organization, though I'm not sure if he is still there.
Barry: Why does Barmes play 2nd when both him and Mercer are in the same lineup? Isn't Barmes the superior shortstop?
Bill Brink: I wondered that as well. I think they are trying to keep Mercer's confidence up by not switching him away from short, and his defense after the first few weeks has been quite good.
JamesinNYC: Who did you like from the draft any round? And who did you not like early? Obviously 26th round kid congrats but doesn't count.
Bill Brink: With the caveat that I've never seen any of these guys play live, I liked the two high school pitchers they took in the second round and comp round B. Seem like high-upside guys.
Jason: Who are some pitchers the Pirates could potentially trade for?
RG in NJ: Think the Bucs have any interest in Bronson Arroyo? I'd like to see him come back to Pit.
Bill Brink: In addition to Price and Samardzija, James Shields, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel, Arroyo and Brandon McCarthy could all be on the market. The Pirates will probably check on Arroyo.
russell: more positive impact Marte on Polnaco or Polanco on Marte
Bill Brink: Marte on Polanco. He has parts of three years of major league experience -- how to navigate cities on the road, what to do in the clubhouse, how to deal with the media, etc.
Ron: Will the Bucs be able to keep Walker and/or Pedro?
Bill Brink: It appears Walker will be the priority, as Alvarez will not agree to an extension before free agency in all likelihood unless the team blows him away with an offer.
JAL: If Harrison can't play tonight do they move Polanco to lead-off?
Bill Brink: Polanco was leading off in Indy during the past couple weeks and that would make the most sense.
russell: Who are the " leaders " in the Pirates clubhouse ? It was apparent that the Pens may have suffered from the lack of leadership , and more to the point have any of the pitcher's taken up that role . It seems to me that Cole is a future leader but may be too young at this point
Bill Brink: McCutchen (quieter) Martin (fiery), Liriano (by example), Grilli (bullpen). Barmes plays an influence as well. That's at least what the media can discern from conversations with players and coaches.
Quick caveat: It's different than hockey, which is much more of a team-synergy type sport.
JAL: Have you heard about any teanms being interested in Tabata or Snider as part of a trade package?
Bill Brink: I have not. If they were, I think the Pirates would have made the move.
CT: Do the pirates try to acquire a SS for the future before a pitcher at the trade deadline? If so, any names that stick out?
Bill Brink: With four healthy starters in their rotation, I have to think pitcher is a top priority right now.
Jesse: Will the pirates use Gaby Sanchez as trade bait?
Bill Brink: A good possibility, what with the Rangers in need of a first baseman. They face so many righties in the NL Central, they can put Davis out there almost every day.
JAL: When players are called up in September, does that time count toward super two or is are those players in a separate category?
Bill Brink: That counts as service time toward Super Two status.
Bill Brink: Lightning round. Go.
Ron: Who will be the Bucs closer next year?
Bill Brink: Grilli doesn't want to stop pitching, but the safe bet is Melancon.
Jesse: When do you think Tony Sanchez will be brought back up?
Bill Brink: If the Pirates have it their way, not until Sept. 1 unless someone gets hurt.
Ron: Can Martin be resigned?
Bill Brink: He can be, but I don't think, based on the Pirates' approach in recent years, that he will be. The Pirates plan to go with Sanchez as the 2015 starter with Stewart backing him up.
JAL: Liriano out a month?
Bill Brink: About, yeah. There was a study done -- I'm still trying to find it -- that had an average DL stint of 34 days for oblique strains. What I can't remember is if that was position players, pitchers or both.
russell: Odd question but where do players like Polanco live when they come up ? Hotel , player's house , Nutting's house
Bill Brink: I believe they stay in a hotel for the beginning and then find an apartment or condo, but I can't say that for certain.
Jim: Best under the radar food in PNC park?
Bill Brink: There's a chicken sandwich with a pierogi on it somewhere out there that's pretty good, but I haven't had it in a while. And, of course, Pirates Buried Treasure ice cream. It's like Moose Tracks. Just phenomenal.
Bill Brink: That's it for today, thanks for the great questions!