Jenn Menendez: Alright, thanks for joining me. Let's get started.
JamesinNYC: Hi Jenn thanks for the chat, does Lambo play until he gets cold?
Jenn Menendez: Good question. Two things to consider. One, Hurdle said Travis Snider is a possibility to return this weekend for the Cubs series from the hamstring injury that has dogged him. Two, the Cubs will send three left-handed pitchers to the mound this weekend. Lambo has very few plate appearances against lefty's at the major league level, so that leads me to suspect they go with Snider if he's healthy.
Chris: With the next 13 games against teams that the Buccos 'should' beat, is it fair to say that a 9-4 or better record is needed to have any chance whatsoever at the playoffs? The last 10 games are against difficult opponents so I think personally they need to come into those games riding an impressive stretch to have a shot.
Jenn Menendez: Very fair to say that, yes. They need to string wins together, and they definitely need to win series. If they win each of their next four by a game against the Cubs-Phillies-Cubs-Sox that would give them a 9-4 record over that stretch. We all know so much depends on what the other teams in the hunt are doing, but this is as good a time as any to start stringing some wins together to try and take some semblance of control.
Tship: Hi Jenn and thanks for your time again. After the Cards series isn't it evident that the Teams ahead of us, Cards, Brewers, Giants, and Braves are just better and deeper and isn't this a direct reflection on managements decision to be cheap rather than go for it?
Jenn Menendez: Thanks for joining me. I certainly think a stronger addition to the bullpen would have helped considerably. Whether or not that is because the franchise is "cheap" as you call them, or the right situation did not present itself is still unclear.
friends of Frobel: Neil Walker wonders why NH won't extend him at $10MM per, one only has to continue to suffer through his consistent lack of clutch hitting (0 for 30 something in playoffs including 20ks). for a high 1st round pick Neil is slightly above average and he looks like he has never lifted a weight and has zero leadership traits. yes he's a yinzer but he doesn't come close to warranting big $$ for a middle aged fielder whose range will quickly decline at age 30. here's to jordy as our 2nd baseman of future and let someone else overpay for past production.
Jenn Menendez: Well I don't exactly see a question in here, but it's a matter of what the market will pay him - the Pirates or otherwise. You are entitled to your opinion, but I don't see the lack of leadership you point out. He had a lousy playoffs at the plate last year, yes, but I don't question his value during the regular season.
Pops Stargell: Is there any chance the pirates 'paper' demotions of Cole and Locke come back to bite them one day in the future? Does this kind of thing happen a lot? Just wonder if using an option like this limits flexibility in the future.
Jenn Menendez: I see your point, but don't think it comes back to bite them, no.
Maz: What in the world did Vin Mazzaro do to prevent a callup??
Jenn Menendez: I'm stumped with this one. Seriously.
Doug_Out: Looks like the last wild card is a battle between Bucs, Brews, and Bravos. The lowest win total ever for a wild card is 88. That would mean a 17-6 finish. Pretty daunting...
Jenn Menendez: They certainly need to put the pedal to the metal so to speak, but as for the exact number of wins needed to get one of those wild-card spots ... we'll see.
Sean in Cumberland, Maryland: How far away are we from Pedro returning from his injur?
Jenn Menendez: Not sure. Hurdle said prior to yesterday's finale in St. Louis that he would be available to pinch-hit, but was not ready to play a full game yet.
Chris: Was it a mistake yesterday to try to get 2 innings out of Melancon? It seems to me that last couple of times Hurdle has tried that with any of his late inning guys (Watson, Melancon, etc), it has backfired and they lose the game. Bad decision making by the manager or poor conditioning/execution by the players?
Jenn Menendez: Hindsight is always 20-20, but probably a combination of both. He started the inning out well, and it went south after the walk to Molina.
Pedro: Prediction on when we will last see Pedro Alvarez in a Pirates uniform?
Jenn Menendez: His stock has probably fallen enough this season that the return on investment would be better served waiting until it rises again. So until we see how he recovers next season - whether playing at first or third base - I wouldn't predict a major trade.
Marc: Does Martin get a qualifying offer?
Jenn Menendez: Is going to depend on the value of the qualifying offer first of all. It will probably end up being a number that makes sense for a year or two, but I think the bigger issue is how long of a deal does Martin and his people try to land.
Jenn Menendez: Well thank you for joining me folks. Enjoy the off day and will chat with you again next week from Philly.