Jenn Menendez's Pirates baseball chat transcript: 8.6.14

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Jenn Menendez: Thanks for joining today. Let's chat some Pirates baseball.

Bill: Hi Jenn, With the bullpen continuing to struggle, it seems very odd that Vin Mazzaro hasn't gotten another chance. The guy is not great, but he was very serviceable last season and is pitching well this year down there. Any thoughts on this?

Jenn Menendez: I'm in 100 percent agreement with you that this is very odd. Mazzaro was more than serviceable last year, and he was DFA'd for numbers reasons only. My guess is at some point we may see him back in Pittsburgh.

8675309: I'm concerned about having Cutch and Walker not DL'd but yet using active roster spaces. Is it just a time will tell approach on both of them, and we're stuck shorthanded while they wait and see?

Jenn Menendez: If the Pirates put McCutchen on the DL he's out for the full 15 days. Their hope here, is that he heals quicker than that and they can get him back in less time. The next few days are going to be key in determining that. If he continues to recover at good pace they may elect to keep him off the DL. But if he plateau's or anything, it is absolutely possible he gets put on the DL.

As for Walker, there was very little information available last night other than his back tightened on him. We'll likely get more information later today when Hurdle is available just before 4 p.m.

Sean in Cumberland: Why does Clint Hurdle keep Sanchez around? He has wasted way to may scoring opportunities in close games.

Jenn Menendez: Sanchez has legitimately hit left-handed pitching very well in his career. He's not doing that consistently this season when he gets a crack at them. It's a matter of how patient the club is willing to be. Considering it's August, one might think he is running out of time to produce.

Jjvt: When will the Pirates decide they need bullpen help?

Jenn Menendez: Watson was unavailable last night because of his workload in the previous series. We'll never know if Hughes could have gotten out of that jam because they went to Wilson, but yes, they could use some more reliable arms. As for when they'll decide they need help? I can't really answer that, but we'll be sure to report it when they do.

Guest: Having 2bullpen arms really hurts!How can management not see this???

Jenn Menendez: Similar question, and I'd argue Hughes has had a great season, with the exception of walking the tying run last night. So I think they have more than two arms...but your point is heard.

Zach Yurchak: How much do you know about Elias Diaz (specifically his defense)? he is having a good year hitting for Altoona and since I don't watch their games all I can really see is his offensive statistics

Jenn Menendez: Can't help you much there, as I don't get to watch him either. I just know his numbers look good.

pete: Just like marte going back in the game after being hit in the head and bringing cole back early this team is reckless with its players and when will they learn??? Just dl them enough with the excuses

Jenn Menendez: I think they've been very cautious with Cole this time around, but probably should have allowed for some rehab starts after his first DL stint. Hindsight is always 20/20. And as for Marte - concussions are funny things. Symptoms don't always show up in a perfectly linear timetable. Once it was clear there was a problem they acted very swiftly.

JAL: With the arm Wilson has why can't he get strikeouts when he gets 2 strikes on a hitter?

Jenn Menendez: This is probably a good question for Ray Searage. Wilson obviously has strikeout quality stuff, but we certainly didn't see it when needed last night.

NA Tiger Pride: With the issues in front of us right now, when he comes back, why not just throw Pedro back at third and bat him fifth to just to let him sink or swim? He is a professional, he needs to figure it out, so this will be an opportunity for the front office to generate their off season moves. Personally I think he figures out the bat side....

Jenn Menendez: They may have to do this, yes. We'll see when he returns from bereavement leave what the next step is. They want him to recover and return to the player he can be more than anyone, and right now the thought is to allow him some time to do that.

Guest: I think Pedro has already sank. He needs some time in the minor leagues to get his head on straight again. I am a fan of his and I hope he can get it back again some day.

Dan M.: Do you feel any sense of the Buccos making any waiver deals, since they really need to get some hitting and bullpen help before they fade from the playoff race?

Jenn Menendez: I think they will try hard to pull the trigger on a bat and an arm or two, yes. The problem is the waiver process is not exactly an easy place to land exactly who you want to land, so we'll see.

865-5229: If Cutch goes on the DL, who comes up? Lambo or Tabata? Is Tabata persona non grata?

Jenn Menendez: Could be a number of options, but both of those players are possible.

Raymond from N. Shore: What are the Pirates waiting for with the bullpen? Are they waiting for an Ovidian metamorphosis of the drastically under-performing members consisting of Frieri, Gomez, Pimentel, and Wilson? One thing they can immediately do to improve —that does not involve a trade—is recall Vin Mazzaro! Mazzaro has big league experience and proved to be a productive member of the bullpen all of last year: Mazzaro’s 2013 ERA stood strong at 2.81, and in his brief 5 games this year he looked good. #RecallMazzaro

Jenn Menendez: There's a lot of Vin Mazzaro love going around today. Duly noted.

McKnight Rd Tasty Freeze Employee: What is the team control on Josh Harrison? Seems that we have a decision to make on his future..he has not regressed enough to be considered "super utility", he looks like an everyday player....where do we play him? Simple to me, roll Pedro to first, his bat is at least equal to the lack of performance we have there now and make Josh the everyday three bagger. Heck if the pen keeps struggling, put the kid on the mound!

Jenn Menendez: Harrison is arbitration eligible in 2015 and a free agent in 2018. I imagine he'll earn himself a nice raise when that comes around. If he keeps this up - and there is no indication that he won't - there is certainly a case to consider him an everyday player.

Guest: I was watching Pittsburgh in their 1979 series. Seemed as though allot of their players chocked up on the bat. It is hard to argue with the results. Their team batting average was out of site. You loose allot of bat control when your hands are down at the bottom of the bat. Just saying

Michael: Is Neil Walkers back really just "tightening up" or has it gone out on him? He looked like he was in a lot of pain rounding the bases yesterday. Glad he didn't have to slide into home.

Jenn Menendez: We'll find out more today, but Walker did say prior to the game that he was feeling good.

Doug: Why was Watson not available last night with the day off Monday?

Jenn Menendez: Hurdle said it was predetermined before the game that Watson was not available because of a combination of his workload in the Arizona series, and dating back even further than that.

Michael: I was somewhat encourage that Cutch wasn't immediately put on the 15 day DL. How was he moving around yesterday in the clubhouse before the game?

Jenn Menendez: He was super positive, and moved around well even kicking up each leg waist-high to demonstrate how mobile he is compared to when he couldn't tie his shoes on Sunday.

Adam: How involved were Nutting and Coonelly at the deadline? Do they know enough about baseball, and care enough about the Bucs, to say something like "We need bullpen help. Make sure to get it"? Or are they just happy a profit is being made again this year?

Jenn Menendez: Coonelly is more involved in baseball operations in general than Nutting, including trades at the deadline. Don't know how Nutting operates well enough to know if he would send an ultimatum down or not, though I'm sure many of you who have been around here a long time probably have your opinions.

Doug: It seemed very out of character for Hurdle to take out Hughes last night in the middle of the in inning. I understand the whole righty/lefty matchup but wouldn't you rather see Hughes pitch against G Jones then Wilson pitch to just about anyone in that situation?

Jenn Menendez: I personally thought Hughes could have gotten out of that jam based on how he has pitched in high leverage situations this year. But they don't pay me the big bucks to make those decisions.

Tnbucco fan: Last year they waited till the end of August to claim Byrd and Justin M.. They can't afford to wait that long this year. How soon can a deal be made after a claim?

Jenn Menendez: If a player is put on waivers, and is unclaimed for 48 hours, the club can trade him to any team for the rest of the season. If a player is claimed, the two sides have 48 hours to negotiate a deal, otherwise he can simply be pulled back.

Doug: Any news on the waiver wire?

Jenn Menendez: Not just yet.

Guest: For some time now, even before this season, I have had a hard time understanding the infatuation with Alvarez. It seemed to me, people overlooked all of his weakness simply because he hit home runs. I mean really, errors, strikeouts, low slugging % for a power hitter, all were thrown out the window because of Hrs. However, I found a stat today that caused a pause that maybe he can turn this around. His numbers when he is ahead in the count are unbelievable (just like McCutchen when he is ahead). However when he is behind in the count they fall off the map. Way more than the normal player would in the same circumstance. It seems he might not change his approach when he is behind. Have you heard this before?

Jenn Menendez: Have heard this, yes. But bear in mind that if he were hitting 40+ home runs this season, you too may forgot about some of those other numbers.

Jenn Menendez: Alright, gotta run. Thanks again. Chat again soon.

First Published August 6, 2014 12:00 AM

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