Jerry Micco's sports chat transcript: 6.6.12
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The Chief: Hi Jerry, well we discussed Tomas Vokum last week and Ray Sherp delivered. What's next a trade of Paul Martin!
Jerry Micco: That's going to be much harder because there will be few takers for Paul Martin. But I think getting Vokoun is a terrific move by Shero. No only is he a solid backup, but he could start in the NHL. I don't think he's as good as MA Fleury, but I think he'll push him quite a bit, and be able to spell him for 25 games or so next season.
James_Pittsburgh: What to you think of drafting Mark Appel?
Jerry Micco: Had to do it. When a guy who is a projected top 2 or 3 pick falls to you at No. 8, you can't pass that up. Even if you think you have a ton of pitching in the minors, you can't pass on a guy like Appel. In a draft that didn't have a star athlete at the top, a la Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper, Appel was the safest bet. Great pick, now, can they sign and develop him? We'll see.
JohnnyB: He turned down offer for 6 something w/Astros I thought I read here. We got 6.6 mill and others to sign. This is gonna be interesting...
Jerry Micco: Apparently, people in Appel's camp are knocking that story down today, saying they didn't tell the Astros that figure. You always get that type of intrigue with the draft. But I don't think the $2.9 mil the Pirates have slotted for him will work out, either.
James_Pittsburgh: How do the Penguins get rid of Paul Martin? Trade him with Staal to Carolina or another team!
Jerry Micco: He'd be a piece of a trade, I'd think, but I can't imagine a team giving up much for him and then taking his salary. The guy was a pretty decent player 2 years ago, so maybe last year was an anomaly. Whatever the reason, the Pens likely will have to make it work with this guy and try to make him a better player. Or just carry that huge salary for a No. 6 or 7 defenseman.
The Chief: Looks like the Kings will close out the Devils tonight, did you ever think Scuderi would have his name on the Cup twice before Sid or Geno?
Jerry Micco: I did not. I thought the Kings were a very good, underrated team coming in. I even called an upset of Vancouver (check past chats) in round 1. But I did not in any way see them winning the Cup. But I think they will tonight.
James_Pittsburgh: What is Neal Huntington waiting for? When will he acquire a 20HR hitter?
Jerry Micco: My guess is when the price is right. And right now, that bat isn't as necessary as it was a week ago. At least not at the moment. Let's let things play out because right now, the Pirates are playing as well as anyone. They did not get good performances from their best pitchers -- McDonald and Burnett -- yet, they pounded out 14 runs in those 2 games to win them. Doesn't mean you don't keep looking around for that big bopper, though.
The Chief: Your thoughts on Mike Therrien's second go around with The Habs.
Jerry Micco: If they didn't like him in round 1, why would they in round 2? I think the guy's a very good coach, but like so many guys in the NHL, he's recycled. I think he'll be great for Montreal for about 3 years, then they'll tire of his style and he'll get the ax.
John: Scott Boras is backed into a corner. he has to know that due to the new slotting rules that his guy might only get around 3 mil. Going back into the draft for next year might not be an option for Appel as he will risk injury, will be a year older and the class is going to be much deeper next year. In my opinion, the Pirates should not offer over 3 mil for this guy. Boras is not king anymore!!
Jerry Micco: Also, the waiting game is much shorter, so the talking has to begin much sooner. My guess is the Pirates will come up some on the slot number, but not to the point where they'll be penalized. And they will not give Appel a huge bump over the 2.9. They can pass on him and get a no. 9 pick next year automatically. Yes, I think the Pirates are in the catbird's seat on this one.
James_Pittsburgh: Jerry, any favorite veterans that you would like to see the Pirates acquire if they stay in contention? I am talking guys who could be had for a marginal prospect or paying their salary.
Jerry Micco: Gosh, that's hard to say. I don't start looking at that type of player until late June when trade talk heats up. Who do you like? Your research is usually pretty spot on.
JohnnyB: Just joined PG+ so am kinda new at this. I haven't read anything lately on Steelers salary cap issues. Where do we stand with w/#1 draft pick and Wallace w/salary cap issues?
Jerry Micco: Thanks for joining PG+. As you know in addition to extra Steelers news, we have the Bucs, Pens, Penn State and Pitt hoops behind a pay wall. Look it all over and let us know how you like it. Ed is getting ready to head out for his longish summer vacation, so we will have guest blogs on there for a bit. But if you catch him today, email him a question about that. Most days he does a "you and me" feature that has answers to reader's questions. You can reach him at his own email, email@example.com.
Jeff: Jose Tabata: Legitimately hurt and should be on the DL or just being lazy and underperforming?
Jerry Micco: Clint Hurdle said this morning on 93.7 The Fan that Tabata is not hurt and not a candidate for the DL. I think he's underperformed most of the year, and I thought he'd have a breakout season. He should be concerned that he's going to play his way down to AAA or maybe be part of a larger trade. I can't believe the Pirates are happy with what they are seeing. That said, maybe he sits for a bit and comes back stronger. Worked for Barmes, Presley and McGehee.
James_Pittsburgh: I would like to see the Pirates acquire Jeff Francoeur. He is in the first year of a 3 year $16 million contract. However I don't know that the Pirates have anything that the Royals would want.
Jerry Micco: Some pitching, I'd think, or a guy like Tabata or Presley. Francoeur is an outfielder and with Jones seeing a lot of playing time, and Presley maybe finding his stroke, the OF will get awfully crowded. I think if they make a deal, it'll be to get a first baseman. Hague is fine, but not a power guy at a power position.
Zach: Jerry--I don't live in Pittsburgh, but I am really interested in knowing this--has the city started to catch Buccos fever again like it did last summer? Or will they be skeptical of things again because they saw what happened last year? I was at the game on Memorial Day, and was wildly unimpressed with the 15,000 attendance for a team playing competitive baseball.
Jerry Micco: I don't think the city is reacting as it did last year. Part of that is what you say in your question/statement. Part of it is the Pirates started their run in 2011 in the summer when school was out and the crowds are usually bigger. I think if they can get 2 out of 3 vs. the Reds, then come home and play well vs. the Royals, you'll see some crowds. Though the Royals are not exactly a marquee team.
PaulT: Jerry, is Paul Zeise still with the PG? I know he has been doing radio work recently, but I don't think he has written anything in 6 or 8 weeks. Is he full-time radio/tv now?
Jerry Micco: No, he's a full-time PG reporter and has been taking some time off during Pitt football's "down" time. He'll be back in July and then for the next several months will be gracing our pages and his blog. He also had a death in the family that has added to that time off. Some of our writers, and Paul is one, get no days off once their beat starts. Maybe an occasional here or there, so besides vacation time, they take some time to makeup for those long weeks. As a result, they aren't around for chunks of the year.
PaulT: Is the Kings' run the most improbable in sports history? Not just winning from an 8 seed but how they are doing it. Undefeated on the road...simply unbelievable.
Jerry Micco: One of the best runs of any pro team I've seen in a long time. But they got hot when it counted and they got outstanding goaltending from Jonathan Quick. Just shows that the goal is to get into the playoffs, then go from there.
James_Pittsburgh: Jerry, I would take a 20HR outfielder over Tabata and Presley any day of the week. The Pirates are not trading Cole and Tallion, so I don't think they have anyone Kanas City would want. Maybe they can trade Bedard or Hanrahan to a contender, but not to Kansas City. I really don't see a match between the Pirates and the Royals.
Jerry Micco: Likely not. But I agree if they found a steady 20/85 guy in the OF, they'd have to trade for him. I also agree that Taillon and Cole should be untouchable. And I'm in the minority, but I'd keep Hanrahan and not dangle him out there as trade bait. Look at his work last night.
Rob from Columbus: Hello Jerry, Thanks for taking the time! Do you think we might see Brad Lincoln get an extended look in the rotation? I don't believe he's ever really been given a fair shake in the rotation and even with Karstens coming back would like to see Morton work his issues out in minors and Kevin Cor. go to long relief. Thoughts?
Jerry Micco: I think Lincoln has had his shots as a starter, he just wasn't all that good. That said, he's been great so far this season and deserves a shot to remain a starter for a while. Bedard, McDonald, Correia and Burnett are going to stay put for now and Lincoln likely will be the 5th. When Karstens is healthy, he may go to the pen. I think Morton is going to be down for a bit. However, he is out of options and can't do that in Indy, which is what I thought they should do with him. I erred by saying he could go down. But, they did what they could by putting him on IR to work out his issues.
The Chief: Seems like Stetson Allie can now go into the Huntington Bust Column, who's next Moskos?
Jerry Micco: I'm not ready to put Allie there yet. I mean, he's 20 and who knows what can happen to him over the next 2-3 years. Even if he doesn't pitch, maybe he develops into a good hitter and makes his way. Or, maybe they let him do this and then try him as a pitcher again. I don't know why everyone seemed to think this move was final and absolute. I think Allie wasn't always the most cooperative player at taking coaching, so this is what they dreamed up for him. Let's see if this sticks.
Zach: If Brad Lincoln deals tonight, which would be yet another fine spot start to go along with his excellent bullpen performance, should we start seriously thinking about making him a full-time starter? With Karstens coming back, too, the shelf seems to be pretty stocked/crowded, so I guess my question is--with Burnett, Bedard and JMac taking up three spots in the rotation who takes the other two between Karstens, Lincoln, Correia and a "healthy" Morton?
Jerry Micco: If Morton is healthy, he will start. I think if Lincoln continues to pitch well, then Correia and Karstens are going to the 'pen. Or to IR or are used as a trade piece. But with pitchers you never know. You always need more than you have because of injuries.
The Chief: Tiger's win at The Memorial this past weekend, real or Memorex?
Jerry Micco: I think real. I want to see how he does at the narrow, tricky course at The Olympic Club at the U.S. Open. Muirfield has an Open feel to it and Tiger played it very well. The 2 tournaments he won this year are 2 of his favorites, so he's very comfortable playing there. I want to see some consistency, though, before I say he's back to where he was.
John: I would live to see Rudy Owens get a shot with the big club before he is traded to another club. What are your thoughts?
Jerry Micco: And he might get that if one of the veteran pitchers is traded. I don't know if the Pirates would part with him without taking a longer look. But the Pirates are the team many look at as having a lot of pitching, so as the trade deadline approaches, they will ask for that pitching in a trade for some power.
James_Pittsburgh: If I was the Pirates GM I would acquire about the Angles Kendrys Morales. He would be under the Pirates control until 2014.
Jerry Micco: And he's a very good player. He will cost you, but he also could be a huge help.
Jerry Micco: Thus far, Morales is hitting .288 with 6 HRs and 20 RBI and an OPS of .757. He was injured much of last season, but was 34/108 in 2010. He's slipped some, but still has some pop in his bat.
The Chief: Jerry another potential pickup would be Carlos Lee 1B Astros. he is 35 and a FA in 2013. He does make 18.5 mil
Jerry Micco: I don't like Lee for that very reason. I think his best years are way behind him and he's hit just 4HRs and has 23 RBI while hitting a decent .297. I think for the money they'd be ask to eat, that's a lot for a rental player who is a righty who can't bang them out of the bandbox in Houston. Imagine what PNC Park will do to him.
Zach: I know it is too early to tell, but do you have a different feeling about this PBC compared to years past?
Jerry Micco: I think they've been through a surge that put them at the top, then the total collapse in early August in 2011. That's a teaching tool for many of them, so you have to assume they have learned from it. Also, guys like Barmes, Burnett, McGehee, Barajas and Bedard bring tremendous experience and come from winning programs. That has meant a lot to this team, I think. This team could wind up contending in a division like the NL Central. But it's a long season, so let's see if we're saying that by the All-Star break.
doyle 37: Can the Bucs win 12 of the next 18 ( including last night )? The schedule is a bit easy for the next 3 weeks.
Jerry Micco: I think June is a fairly tough month. To go 14-14 in June would be a boost for them. You have road trip to Baltimore, Cleveland, Philly and St. Louis. While the first 2 teams have cooled some, Philly and St. Louis have always been tough places for the Bucs to play. I like the home schedule for June with the Royals, Twins and Tigers (unless Verlander is pitching). I think if they go 12-6 over that stretch, that's one great run.
James_Pittsburgh: I like Mark Trumbo, but I doubt that the Angles will trade him so I suggested Morales.
Jerry Micco: I agree. Trumbo is likely not on the block.
James_Pittsburgh: Jerry, I think the Pirates acquisition of Thomas Vocum illustrates why the Pirates need to do what they can to make a serious run in 2012. It will improve their ability to acquire free agent talent. That is why they need to see what they can get for Karstens or A.J. Burnett.
Jerry Micco: I don't think they'll trade Burnett. Not just for what he's done on the mound, but for what he's brought to the team. If they were floundering, then shoot, trade as many of those guys as you can for prospects. But if they make a trade for power, it will involve guys like Presley, Tabata, Hanrahan, Karstens and Correia. And maybe Lincoln, too. Or, some AAA pitchers.
Zach: I know the all-star game is pretty silly, but who do you see representing us in KC? You have to guess Cutch is a lock, and a possible starter, but also we have some other fine candidates: Burnett, JMac, Hammer... Who do you think goes?
Jerry Micco: Cutch for sure. Like to see McDonald go because he's been very good all season. And Hanrahan has been there, but got hit pretty good last season. I think maybe Burnett might slip in though. Could be a 10-game winner by the break.
The Chief: Pirates vs KC Royals, two very similar small market franchises heading in the same direction. Which team makes the playoffs first?
Jerry Micco: NL is not as stacked as the AL, so I'd say Pirates.
Mark210: Hi Jerry. Realizing there is zero chance of being correct, take your best guess as of Sept 1, assuming no injuries/trades. Final two starters after Burnett, Bedard, McDonald. Also, starting RF, LF and 1B.
Jerry Micco: OK. Let's say Lincoln and Morton. RF will be a Jones/Tabata/Presley mix and match, with one or the other playing LF (likely Presley). And Hague at first, though if a trade is made, that's where they will go to get someone.
Mark210: Seems amazing that "all of a sudden", MLB is pitching rich and power hitter poor. Simply the result of PED testing?
Jerry Micco: Doesn't hurt, but realize too, that many pitchers may have been juicing during over the years. Really helps you to heal quickly and get back out on the bump. I think you are seeing truer numbers on all sides of baseball these days. And it has not taken away one bit from the excitement of the game.
Jerry Micco: OK folks I need to get to some other stuff on my desk. As always, thanks for taking the time to chat and for all the great questions. I will be back at noon next Wednesday for some more sports talk. Until then, have a great week everybody! Follow me on Twitter: @PG_JerryMicco
First Published June 6, 2012 2:29 pm
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