doc jean: Should Kevin Correa be back in the rotation after his gem last night?
Michael Sanserino: I think he should have the opportunity. As much as the Pirates have struggled in the past month and a half, they are still in a race for the wild card. The time to win is now. The time to evaluate for 2013 is in the offseason.
JamesinNYC: When was the last time the PBC had two 30 HR guys? PS I still don't agree with the Qualls pickup.
Michael Sanserino: I might be mistaken, but I believe it was 2001, with Brian Giles and Aramis Ramirez. The alternative to the Qualls pickup would be carrying Casey McGehee, who would rarely see the field.
Lee Foo: How do the Pirates handle a game like this and tomorrow's after getting in so late? Do they acknowledge that it affects them or do they just suck it up? What about Hurdle? He's dumb when he's clearheaded, what does the lack of sleep do to a 55 year old man? I KNOW what it does to me (you think I'm bad normally? Just ask my wife how I am on little to no sleep).
Michael Sanserino: I think they take a line from the Steelers: The standard is the standard. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they take on a team who didn't even play a game yesterday. The team does not have to report until 4:30, more than an hour and a half before normal. So they will try to catch up on sleep in the meantime.
Jim: Do the Pirates believe they still have a shot at the playoffs?
Michael Sanserino: They do. They are 2.5 games back with 2.5 weeks to play. The team is still confident this is just a rough stretch and that they can emerge from it. But that window is closing.
Jeff King: Do you have any sense that Hurdle is losing control of the team?
Michael Sanserino: No, I don't.
Dave: Have the Indianapolis call ups been exposed for not ready for prime time?
Michael Sanserino: I don't think so. Some have performed well -- Holt, McPherson, even Fryer. Marte has been decent. Others have struggled. The jump from AAA to the majors is the biggest in a player's development. Some excel, some struggle. But September call-ups help players deal with some of those early struggles.
Lee Foo: Other than Aceves, are there REALLY any Red Sox relievers we want? Pundits mention Padilla, but outside of being the ugliest man in baseball what good is he?
Michael Sanserino: The Pirates are looking to shore up what the front office believes is an area of weakness in the last couple weeks. Just because we've heard Boston doesn't mean they are the only team the Pirates have contacted.
Kevin: Hi Mike, I am curious if you think Barmes/Barajas will be with Pirates in 2013? Obviously, their defense has been good, but production poor. And Barajas can't throw any runners out.
Michael Sanserino: I think Barmes is a definite because the Pirates have him signed through next season. The Pirates have a team option for Barajas with no buyout. He said he would be willing to negotiate a new deal to stay with the team, but I believe that will be unlikely.
Lee Foo: How many curse words did Brinksie send your way after having to work that late game and catch a cab ride back to the hotel?
Michael Sanserino: The Brinks truck was not too upset last night, to be honest. At least, he didn't let on to me in the texts we exchanged. Outside of a Notre Dame football loss and ice cream in his car, there is not much that upsets Bill Brink.
A: What grade would you give McCutchen on his post-HBP dance last night? GIF here: http://buccofans.s3.amazonaws.com/CutchHBP.gif
Michael Sanserino: By my standards, that's an A+. But you haven't seen me dance. And never will. I've seen McCutchen dance before -- in the dugout in the ASG. For him, that's a C-.
Jeff King: Despite the Pirates fast fade, I don't think think Hurdle will be fired, nor do I think he should be. You opinion?
Michael Sanserino: As a beat writer, I'm not really supposed to offer much in terms of opinions. That said, I would be surprised if the Pirates considered firing Clint Hurdle. If you look at his portfolio over the past two seasons -- the full seasons -- it has been quite remarkable. The two-year turnaround is a big achievement. That said, it is not finished. Does he have flaws? Yes. Are the late-season collapses concerning? Yes. But the total body of work has been solid.
Jim in VT: How limited will Walker be going forward?
Michael Sanserino: They will be careful. But it all depends on how he feels on a daily basis. As long as Brock Holt is playing well, the Pirates can be cautious with Walker.
JamesinNYC: Kevin Correa, not sure how to say this, deserves a lot of credit for being as professional as he has been. Do the Pirates bring him back do you think, would he want to come back?
Michael Sanserino: I don't believe the Pirates will bring him back.
JAL: How does JMac at his best compare to McPherson at his best?
Michael Sanserino: I think JMac at his best trumps McPherson at his best. When JMac is at his best, he is a No. 1 starter with four quality pitches, outstanding command and good poise. McPherson certainly has potential, but his best at this point falls short of McDonald.
JamesinNYC: Marte Cutch Snyder have the leg up as starting outfield next year? Obviously CF is set.
Michael Sanserino: Barring injury, the starting OF next year will be Marte-Cutch-Snider.
Jim in VT: Speaking of catchers, how does the organization view Sanhez's 2012?
Michael Sanserino: They are encouraged by his defensive progress -- and his ability to manage an experienced staff. But they believe he has work to do. They wanted him to take control of the pitching staff. He did that. Now, he needs to work on his offensive game.
Buckeye Phil: will the pirates consider giving holt a chance to win the SS job next year?
Michael Sanserino: I think he will have a chance, but he has a lot to prove. Defensive reliability is key for this management group at that position. Right now, he is the fourth best defensive shortstop on the active roster.
Michael Sanserino: There are a few of these types of questions coming up, so I will address them at once ...
tom p: Forget the playoffs, chances of that happening are less and less each day. That being said, if this team finishes with less than 80 wins, who returns if terms of coaching staff, and the front office.
APB: If Clint isn't fired, who WILL be? Coaches? Which ones? The owner seems to feel SOMEBODY should be held accountable for another collapse.
Mark: If the Pirates fail to go .500 or better by the end of the season, thier should be repercussions, what do you think this management group would do to show they actually care, that this is unacceptable, and change is necessary?
Michael Sanserino: These questions are too hypothetical at this point. As of now, the Pirates are still above .500 (how long, TBD), with two and a half weeks left. Let's save the "what should happen if" questions if "if" happens.
APB: Michael: When you do a chat, you take off your beat writer hat and put on your pundit hat.
Michael Sanserino: If you blur the line that separates beat writer and pundit, you aren't very effective at either.
tom p: Rumor has it Frank may be heading to NYC to work for Lord Selig. Any chance this plays out?. If so, is Terry Francona a candidate for a high ranking job with the club?
Michael Sanserino: As with the questions above, this is still too hypothetical. Hard for me to address which Y will replace X when X is still employed.
Mark: I agree with you they are hypothetical, but like any good business, you need to be forward thinking, they have to at least be discussing this possibility internally already.
Michael Sanserino: While that may be true, it is not fair for me to speculate on the futures of coaches and team executives IF something happens. IF it happens, we can address it then. But how can I as a beat writer be expected to cover a team fairly if I am publicly speculating that they could be fired IF something happens?
Mark: Do you think there will be more of a "think group" atmosphere this offseason in regards to signing free agents, most notably bats, where Coonelly and others are involved in the final decisions? I think it has been proven pretty significantly that Neal Huntington has a checkered past in acquiring bats via Free Agency.
Michael Sanserino: His FA signings have been problematic. But he does not act alone. There is already a lot of group think going on in the front office. I expect that will continue.
JAL: Jones had put together a good season. With an OF basically set do they bring him back as a sometime RF and platoon 1b or will they try to trade him?
Michael Sanserino: As of now, I believe the Pirates will bring him back. It is hard to replace his production. His hitting against left-handed pitchers has improved. They might listen to offers, as they have always said no player is untouchable. But it would take a great package to pry him away from the team.
APB: Do you agree with the Stats Geek about the loss of Brad Lincoln?
Michael Sanserino: I think the Pirates' bullpen would be better off with Brad Lincoln still in it. But his departure has little to do with the struggles of Jared Hughes, Jason Grilli and others.
tom p: Ok , let me soften the question somewhat. Is their any mentions by other media members , or Pirate insiders, that rumblings concerning Frank's departure may be somewhat valid?
Michael Sanserino: At this point, I have not heard much on the subject.
JamesinNYC: Will they target a younger slightly more expensive group of FA this year vs the almost the end of the line guys of the past 3-4 years?
Michael Sanserino: I think so. I always viewed 2013 as the year the Pirates would make a push -- the first year that window would open. Turns out, it was sooner than I expected (and perhaps others as well). I think they will be a bit more aggressive in pursuing impact free agents.
Buckeye Phil: how long until snider is back in daily lineup?
JamesinNYC: Snider has not had a lot of power lately still dealing with leg injury?
Michael Sanserino: The hamstring injury has lingered, and as the games get colder, that certainly doesn't help. I don't know if he will be 100 percent until he can get some sustained rest, which won't come until the offseason.
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