Just an assortment of twits from here and there, I think mainly originating with Neal Huntington’s chat with reporters at the end of the day . . . .
Cole has already been mentioned, but just to pile on:
The Pirates would get a far better return by trading Gerrit Cole than they would for dealing either Andrew McCutchen or Josh Harrison. Cole is younger, has two years of team control remaining and has plenty of upside potential.
Yet, Cole seems more likely to open the season with the Pirates than either McCutchen or Harrison.
The “far better return” part I’d already figured out on my own, but the last part is intensely annoying. If you’re going to rebuild, doing it half-assedly isn’t the way to go about it. Or haven’t we learned anything from the Astros and Cubs?
Starters in the Bullpen
Sounds as though Brault will be in the bullpen. Huntington mentioned respecting the body of work of last year's starters while not closing any doors.— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 11, 2017
I really want to see them try to convert some of their minor league starters into late-inning relievers. Of course, Brault wouldn’t be the one for that; Clay Holmes, Tyler Eppler or J.T. Brubaker would be better candidates. Still, using the “sixth starter” in long relief is what Earl Weaver would do and it worked with Trevor Williams, so that’s good.
Huntington on 3B: "Between Frazier, Harrison, Moroff, Freese and Sean, we believe that we can more than complement David and give him the down time that he needs to remain fresh and strong."— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 11, 2017
Sounds like “competing” to me. But then:
Huntington also noted that the Pirates will explore free-agent and trade options for third base.— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 11, 2017
That sounds better, if it goes anywhere.
Huntington: Vielma "Struggled after a promotion last year offensively, but again, solid walk rate, solid strikeout rate, good defensive metrics. Our guys like the athlete and they think it’s an interesting player to take a chance on."— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 11, 2017
Vielma is primarily SS, also plays 2B/3B. With Kevin Newman already at Indy, Vielma could get more playing time as Indy's SS if Jordy Mercer is traded at end of July. #Pirates— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) December 11, 2017
The second part is really annoying. The guys playing second and third in AAA should be guys who might conceivably be needed to play second and third in the majors. I don’t care what kind of glove Vielma has, nobody needs a second or third baseman who hits like a deputy assistant sixth-string catcher. Or maybe it’s because they don’t have anybody else to play second or third in AAA. Well, nobody other than Kevin Kramer and Pablo Reyes and Eric Wood and Erich Weiss and Wyatt Mathisen. None of whom hits like a deputy assistant sixth-string catcher.