Jenn Menendez: Thanks for joining me. Let's get started.
Old School: Did Vin Mazzaro kick clint or Neil's dog or something? I can;t understand how they have kept Gomez over him all year... and now bring up a guy like Sadler instead... Really baffling given his work last year...
Jenn Menendez: Not that I'm aware of. I agree that his lack of a shot this season is somewhat baffling. But I wouldn't use Gomez and Sadler as an example because both can provide longer relief, and even spot starts which Mazzaro doesn't.
Guest: Are the Pirates making things worse with Pedro Alvarez by overworking him at third base before switching him to first base or is this truly a Steve Sax problem
Jenn Menendez: Clint Hurdle said yesterday that Alvarez is very close to making his debut at first base, and he was out there for quite some time yesterday fielding grounders etc. at first. So as of right now, it doesn't seem like they're overworking him at third base at all.
James_Pittsburgh: Jenn, what's the latest on Cole? Will he be set to start in the next couple of days or does he need another rehab start in Indy?
Jenn Menendez: Unclear. His latest rehab outing was a very good indication that he's getting close to a return, but he threw just 74 pitches before they ended his outing. Hurdle said volume is the last question mark here, and there was no decision as of yesterday prior to the start of the game on the next step for him.
Sean From Cumberland: Will Ike Dais be a bench guy once Alvarez goes to First?
Jenn Menendez: Unclear exactly how they will manage having three first basemen on the roster but it's all going to depend if Alvarez starts hitting again. If he doesn't do that, the whole move is moot.
Jenn Menendez: Talk to me folks, what other questions do you have today?
Barry: When is Clint Barmes coming back?
Jenn Menendez: Looks like Barmes is getting closer to a return, but there's some gray area with those injuries as they can be easy to re-aggravate.
Murphy: How long do you think McCutchen will be on the DL?
Jenn Menendez: He's on there until at least Aug. 19, but if he's not 100 percent there is no way they will rush him back. The biggest issue with this injury is they have no others to compare it to because it's such a rare issue.
James_Pittsburgh: Do you think having Pedro transition to 1B means Jayson Nix is hear to stay?
Jenn Menendez: I think Jayson Nix is more likely to lose a spot in the lineup when Neil Walker is better. But remember, that issue could also turn out to be a lengthy nagging one.
Guest: I don't see us better with Nix in the lineup over Alvarez. You can't see if he is improving his throwing if he isn't in live games
Jenn Menendez: But how long is long enough? At issue is not just his throwing problems which has led to unearned runs, but a guy's long term confidence?
Doug: Any talk about moving Cole to the pen?
Jenn Menendez: No. None that I've heard.
Will H.: Will Russ Martin play here next year?
Jenn Menendez: That's the million dollar question. Or should I say the somewhere-in-the-range of $20 to $40 million dollar question. I do think if there's one guy they stretch for financially it would be Martin, but no way to know that right now.
Colin: If Locke is replaced in the rotation, does he stick in the pen or head to Indy since he has an option left?
Jenn Menendez: Either option could make sense, but my guess is they lean towards Indy. He can continue to start every five days there which is critical this time of year.
Radio Raheem: Russ martin is gone they will say they couldnt afford what the Sox or dodgers give him and we get Stewart. Totally unreal!
Tom From Wheaton Md: This Saturday's game at Washington has a Martina McBride concert afterwards. Do the players who like that type of music get to stick around if they want to check it out or does everyone travel to and from the hotel together to the park?
Jenn Menendez: Unless they're catching a charter out of town after a game - which they're not in this case - they have the freedom to do what they want after a game as far as I know.
Mani: what is Neil Walker's status?
Jenn Menendez: He's on the active roster still, and appeared close to a return over the last few days.
Radio Raheem: Jenn great job with the chats and all you do! Can you please explain or try how Bum Nutting expects the people of Pittsburgh mainly pirate fans to support this team when he won't put a dime into it. I mean a bat or two here and there and a big arm and they can compete with anyone and he constantly turns a blind eye. Cincy and Milwaukee are smaller and don't have this problem. Thank you!
Jenn Menendez: A lot of people share this opinion. I do think they will add someone here before rosters expand, but who that is, and how much they're willing to shell out?
Will H.: When Cole returns, is it Locke who is odd man out as a starter?
Jenn Menendez: Most likely, yes.
Guest: Will Pedro be used as the DH in games at Detroit ?
Jenn Menendez: With two right-handers on the mound - Buck Farmer and Max Scherzer - that is a very likely landing spot.
Mani: i've heard that Pirates aren't truly impressed with Tony Sanchez's progress as a defensive catcher. Is this a short term thing and they are truly developing him as a future catcher for the bucs?
Jenn Menendez: I have not inquired about Sanchez in quite some time, so not sure what the latest assessment is there.
Doug: What AAA guys will be added to the roster in September and will any of them make an impact down the stretch?
Jenn Menendez: Off the top of my head, to name a likely few that could have some impact: Lambo, Sanchez, Decker, Tabata, Cumpton.
Iowa buc fan: Can Barmes play second base when he returns? No way can he take shortstop from Mercer is there?
Jenn Menendez: He can play second base, yes.
Guest: Sad to hear Neil Huntington posture on preparing to lose Martin. Surely we can afford to keep him
Jenn Menendez: You must be referring to his talk with reporters Sunday? I was not present, but he is likely going to be looking for a large and lengthy contract.
Jenn Menendez: Well thanks for all of your questions. Some repeats in there, so I tried to cover all the subjects raised. Let's hope the rain holds off. And Bill Brink will join you for a chat on Thursday. Cheers.
First Published August 12, 2014 12:00 AM