“That’s the last time I ever have to sit in the office and be sent back down.”

BRADENTON, Fla. – Jameson Taillon sat in Clint Hurdle’s office early Monday morning, receiving some expected news. The Pirates’ starting pitching prospect had been cut from big league camp, sent to the minors where he would pitch out of the Indianapolis rotation. After receiving this news, Taillon had a thought and a goal going forward.

“That’s the last time I ever have to sit in the office and be sent back down.”

Taillon knew this would happen. He hasn’t pitched in an official game in two years, and his work during that time has been limited to rehab appearances in extended Spring Training games, plus several starts during the Fall Instructional League in 2015. The Pirates made it clear to him that he would open the season in Triple-A, getting re-acclimated to upper level hitting. As I wrote yesterday, that’s one of the few things he needs to work on, as his mechanics look better than ever, and he looks like a guy who would be in the Pittsburgh rotation right now, had it not been for the time off.

There was no chance Taillon could have made the team, but that didn’t stop him from trying to open some eyes, and make sure that no one forgot about him these last two years.

“I think the organization has kind of sent a message that they’re as excited now as they’ve ever been about me,” Taillon said. “But internally, the competitive side of me, I want people to know that I’m back. I’m back, better than ever. For me, it was almost a sense of pride coming in. I didn’t think if I pitched well I would have won a spot out of Spring by any means, but I kind of wanted to come in with a chip on my shoulder and let them know that I’m back, don’t forget about me.”

Being cut from big league camp is something Taillon has been through before. He knew that he had zero shot in 2013, when he was first invited but had yet to pitch a single inning above A-ball. He was cut the last two years due to the Tommy John surgery. But this year he’s actually got a shot to help the team during the season, which made it a bit different.

“It still stinks,” Taillon said. “When you’re there, you still always think maybe there’s a chance. That’s where you want to be. That’s the ultimate goal.”

From a mechanical standpoint, Taillon looks ready. But don’t underestimate the need to get experience in the upper levels. Taillon’s stuff is better than ever, but he needs to learn how and when to use that stuff against advanced hitters.

“He is ready to take that next step, or getting ready to take that next step,” Pirates’ General Manager Neal Huntington said. “It’s really just a matter of getting him some upper level exposure. Getting him back on the mound, getting him back in a competitive environment, putting him in a situation to be successful. We do anticipate that at some point this year, he’ll be ready to help us, and at some point this year we’ll most likely have the need.”

The Pirates also want Taillon throwing his changeup more. He said that he’s comfortable with the pitch, but didn’t throw it often during his time in big league camp, due to the situation.

“I’m extremely confident in it,” Taillon said of the changeup. It’s just tough whenever you’re up there, in front of those eyes everyday. It’s a mix. You’re [Francisco] Liriano, you get to go up there and work on stuff, because he’s obviously got a spot. For me, I don’t have a spot. I’m trying to pitch well in front of those eyes, and make the most out of my time in front of them. I wanted to mix getting ready for the year, but I wanted to get outs.”

Taillon relied on the fastball and curveball in big league camp. When the Pirates sent him down, their main message was simple: “Don’t lose sight of the changeup as being just as good as the other pitches.”

This camp was different for Taillon in many ways, but the key difference was that he felt like he belonged this year. In previous years, his takeaway was to just learn from the big leaguers and soak up as much information as possible. This time around, he worked on developing relationships with the key people he will be working with later in the year.

“The biggest thing this year is that I feel like I’m not in that position anymore. I feel like I belong up there,” Taillon said. “I feel like instead of being awestruck by people and being shy around Searage and Clint, I feel like this year it was about developing a relationship with them. I feel like they’ll be my coaches soon. Getting to work with catchers, and instead of feeling honored to work with them, I want to get on the same page with them. I feel like that’s the guy I’m going to be throwing to maybe this year. I just felt like a sense of belonging this year, a lot more than others.”

Taillon will almost certainly be pitching in the big leagues with Pittsburgh this year, and the only question is “when.” A lot of that will depend on his innings. The Pirates haven’t set an innings total in stone, and are just treating Taillon like a normal pitcher at this point, with one key exception.

“I’m a planner. That’s my personality. I like to have stuff set in stone,” Taillon said. “So I want a number, but every indication I’ve got is I’m a normal pitcher going out there. There’s no true cap on me right now, but we’re going to have to be open about it. If I ever need a day, or need some rest, be open and they can kind of rearrange things.”

Neal Huntington has talked about how they want to save innings for Taillon to pitch in September, but they also want to make sure they don’t leave too many innings on the table. Taillon expressed those same thoughts. So the approach early in the year will be flexibility, all based on how Taillon is feeling.

“It’s going to be reading what we’re seeing from him physically, and what we’re hearing from him as we communicate with him,” Huntington said. “We don’t want to leave innings in the bank. We also want to make sure that we have a position that if he progresses the way we anticipate, that he can help us come late in the season. We don’t have to be cognizant of every pitch that he throws in September, and in an ideal world, maybe even October. So we’ll monitor, whether it’s bullpens, games, an extra day here or there, skip a turn, and early out. We’ll do the best we can to monitor. But so much is going to be predicated on what he’s showing us, and what he’s feeling, and what he’s telling us.”

Taillon said that they might have a clearer picture on his innings when the season starts. For now, the one thing that is clear is that he’s going to be ready to help the Pirates this year, and he’s in better position with his stuff and mechanics to reach his top of the rotation upside than he ever has been in the past.

  • John Dankosky
    March 18, 2016 6:25 am

    Tim, this is some great reporting. Thanks once again for making my membership so worthwhile.

  • Michael Sanders
    March 18, 2016 6:18 am

    From the looks of it, Dean Treanor could easily limit the innings pitched through a 6-man rotation at AAA considering if one of the “starter types” who are in camp with the Pirates accept an assignment to AAA if they do not make the 25-man roster. If that was done, would it be counterintuitive to the development of the other starters?

    • You know, I think this is a hell of an idea…would love to hear what everyone else thinks.

      • Makes very good sense. Biggest problem is the PBC rotation. Nicasio by far looks like the 3rd starter. After that it’s highly questionable.

        • The argument against the 6-man rotation at the big league level is that it limits the number of starts your best guys will make, which isn’t an issue in AAA.

          They could limit innings on Glasnow and Taillon while still maintaining rainy day veteran depth and give Brault the AAA promotion he’s earned.

  • Jeff Locke sucks- Cutch hitting 2nd is stupid- and Jaso leading off is borderline idiotic. That is all.

    • Cutch would get about 20 more at bats per year if he hits 2nd. You find a guy that gets on base a ton to leadoff, and it can potentially be beneficial.

      Having said that, no team dares to defy “what we’ve always done” to actually hit their best hitter 2nd.

      Which goes into the fact that Jaso at leadoff makes sense unless we decide that speed is more important than OBP. Because Jaso or Cervelli are absolutely the best options to get on base a ton, while Harrison and Polanco purely have speed with non awful OBP. If you want to put a ton of guys on base for Cutch to hit with, they should get on base a lot.

      • I think that the angels have hit trout 2nd occasionally. But I agree that “doing things the way they’ve always been done” is one of the most frustrating things about this game.

        • It’s more than occasionally. It was almost every game in 2014, and in over half of them last year. Likewise, Josh Donaldson batted second in almost every game last year for the Blue Jays, and he was the best hitter in baseball’s best lineup.

          But in general, managers are resistant to the idea that the best hitter should bat 2nd, per the 538 article I posted as a reply elsewhere in this thread.

      • Okay then just lead Cutch off then….he’ll get even more at bats- OR- put him in a place where he can actually drive in runs which is what we need. You don’t put someone hitting .400 with runners in scoring position, into an On base spot of the lineup- put him 4th. 20 more AB’s mean nothing if he is batting with 40 less runners in scoring position over the course of the season…..now I don’t know how “that” part actually averages out, but it is worth looking into before we view it as a “good” idea

        • Its not purely about more at bats, but specifically more at bats with men on.

          Cutch came up to bat a ton with 2 outs and no one on base last year, and thats why you see Hurdle talking about finding ways to maximize the lineup. Ignoring old school thinking and finding ways to get Cutch up A) as much as possible and B) with runners on.

          The entire discussion is about putting someone who hits well with RISP up to bat with RISP. Either you put your best OBP guys at 1-2 (possibly ignoring speed to a degree) or start working at ways to get Cutch hitting with more men on.

          Its a great discussion to have, and really well overdue in terms of where the “ideal” place for your best hitter really is. #3 isnt the clear best spot, insofar as any discussion otherwise is silly.

          • Explain to me how batting him 2nd is going to get him up with more people on base……instead of 2 batters with the opportunity to get on, there is 1. If you want him up with people on base, you move him to 4th. At 4th he can only bat in the first inning with a runner on, otherwise you have his speed leading off the inning. More- Efficient- Valuable- Plate appearances

            • http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-spot-in-mlb-lineups-where-managers-are-still-ignoring-sabermetrics/

              http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/sports/baseball/reasoning-may-be-wrong-but-no-2-spot-is-for-best.html?_r=0

              4th merits discussion, but the higher you hit the more at bats you are likely to get in the season, so 2nd allows likely nearly 40 more at bats. Unless a team puts its best OBP options at both 1-2, 3 doesnt actually increase the chance of men on by default. In the case of PGH, if Jaso and Cervelli arent 1-2 then you likely waste one of those spots. If you throw Harrison at 1 or 2, its not for OBP or that he’s one of your best hitters but because speed is key at the top because “thats how its done”. Putting one of your not top 2-3 hitters at the top of the lineup because “speed” is becoming archaic logic.

              Im fine with Cutch at 3 if we place the two best options at getting on base ahead of him. If we dont, we waste high volumes of at bats in front of our best hitter. To get really outside the box, you’d put the pitcher 8th allowing high OBP options at 9 and 1, Cutch then sliding into 2nd and getting roughly 20 more at bats than if he hits 3rd.

              • I agree that lineup construction actually dictates whether moving a player can produce any results, and that was actually my entire point. Moving Cutch- while doing nothing else, really doesn’t help us, in fact I believe it disrupts the balance of the whole lineup so much that it would be quite detrimental. We do not have a “typical” lineup that follows some of the articles listed below. Having a high OBP player earlier in the lineup only produces more runs if the rest of the lineup is constructed using the same idealogy, which…….we aren’t because we don’t have the personnel that “fits” the concept. AB’s alone are not worth runs, AB’s with runners on, that is what we need. Having a high OBP player with power behind him helps……..having an OBP player with power hitting second (Cutch) with little power behind him actually accomplishes next to nothing.

                • Its tnot true we dont currently have the right personnel. What you mean is you dont want to use the personnel where they fit.

                  John Jaso and Francisco Cervelli absolutely fit the notion of high OBP guys in front of your two best hitters. If you want to construct a lineup, thats it. You’ve got 2 quality OBP guys 1-2, quality run producers 3-4 and Marte at the 5 is fine. You’d stack it early in the lineup, but Polanco and Harrison arent poor options later in the lineup. Jaso and Cervelli both posted top 30 type OBP numbers last year.

                  People dont want that concept because we continue to assume speed is needed at the top. Its nice, and when OBP+speed meshes its great. But we have the OBP types needed to put Cutch 3. They’d get on a lot more than Harrison or Polanco, and offer Cutch a chance to stay at 3 without again hitting too often with 2 outs and no runner on.

                  • Luke- you just made my point for me. Cutch IS the run producer, and you just stated he needs to be #3 or #4 yourself. I agree that Cervelli fits best as a #2 hitter, I just don’t agree with having another running slug at #1. You simply cannot have your two slowest runners #1 and #2 unless they never hit ground balls. Yes I would prefer someone with a high OBP to hit first, but not at the expense of speed to be able to steal, be easily moved to second via hit and run ground ball without being doubled (something cervelli is good at) ability to get to third on a succesful hit and run, etc.

                    The best lineup construction we have available is still to allow Polanco to get more comfortable there and hope his OBP will increase like it was in AAA, he is the only player with useful speed to hit there. second I would put Cervelli, Then move Marte up to #3 . Cutch I would bat 4th with Kang 5th, Harrison 6th, Jaso 7th and Mercer 8th. You could move Jaso to 2nd when he plays and it would be the same as far as i’m concerned, with Cervelli hitting second only against lefties. Maybe you move Polanco down against Lefties and Hit Harrison first then because he crushes lefties……or maybe you leave him at #6 to drive people in against lefties, I don’t know the right answer there honestly.

                    If you bat Cutch 2nd, I guess you could still hit Marte 3rd and Kang 4th, but what do you have after that? You have lineup imbalance.

                    • So you gotta have your best OBP options before Cutch, unless they are slow and then 20-30 OBP points doesnt count as much as speed. Since you cant have slow guys at the top (because history says so) we are doomed since we are hand tied by that logic.

                      Sounds good, we’ll ignore Cutch hitting with no one on until Polanco starts getting on base a ton more or Harrison changes who he is as a hitter.

                      My point was that the only way you argue that point right there is by refusing to admit that speed might not be crucial at the top. You want as many runners on base as often as possible for Cutch. I dont care if they are on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. I dont sacrifice 30 OBP points because baseball says speed is a must at the top. Until the #2 hitter starts grounding into a ton of DPs, 30 points of OBP per spot means Cutch and Kang hitting with men on more. Thats adding up to wins if they perform as they have.

                    • Harrison isn’t the answer at the top of the order, we both know that. Polanco is the kind of hitter who has way more upside at that spot than Cervelli or Jaso do, and we NEED that upside to be succesful this year. Polanco is the key to us taking the next step, you can’t bury him at 7 in the order in favor of an assanine idea that OPS at the top of the order works with two players I can outrun. If you think that settling for better OPS up front at the huge sacrafice of being able to utilize the running game to get players in scoring position for our RBI men, then I think you will be very sadly proven wrong. We are lucky if we have 2 players on our team that are capable of hitting 25 homers over a full season, and yet you don’t seem to think that it matters that statistically we need 3 hits to score a run, despite the obvious difficulty of accomplishing that task on any consistent basis, you blindly believe that high OPS will work because…..of what exactly? Some unproven general theory of statistical likelihood that told you so? comeon! This just in, the moneyball A’s never won a championship. Neither have the Rays. This isn’t how the Cardinals won, this isn’t how the Giants won, this isn’t how the Royals won.

                    • Either way, the point is that hitting Cutch 2nd is dumb. I don’t care if he stays at 3, but he should go to #4. 2nd is just dumb. Hit Jaso or Cervelli 1 or 2 and the other one at #7, I don’t care which one. That is all. I’m done with this topic

                    • So now you’ve gone from “we dont have the personnel to utilize the high OBP idea in the lineup” to “you cant sacrifice speed even with those high OBP guys at the top”.

                      Yes, you can sacrifice speed for 30 OBP points. You just have to ignore the idea that speed is needed just because baseball has said so for a long time. Is speed good? Yes. Is it needed? Not if you sacrifice that much OBP in front of the best hitter in the league. It’ll be neat when a guy steals second, but the fact that he gets on a lot less makes that a silly thing to trade for 25 SBs.

                      I believe high OBP will work better than low OBP, because thats how that works. If Polanco hits 6th and does take that step forward, then you can mix some lineups. As it is, im not throwing a guy who gets on less than Harrison at the 1 because “speed”. The Cardinals just won 100 games by having an entire lineup of guys that dont hit for power but get on base.

                      Its not moneyball, if you cared to follow what im saying and not just insult me you’d see that. Now you arent arguing anything but throwing teams out and assuming they didnt do something because you disagree with it. Its not about moneyball stuff, but it is about getting men on in front of your best hitters. Apologies that it takes baseball years to realize that some thing “we just do” isnt optimal. Keep putting a .320 OBP guy at the top, and watch Cutch hit with 1 or 2 outs more. Im sure he’ll agree Jaso and his far better OBP are better used hitting in front of Mercer.

                    • You just don’t listen Luke, I’m done.

    • The second spot in the order is statistically the most valuable run-producing spot. That’s where the team’s best hitter should be. I’ve wanted Cutch to hit second for years now, and I’m finally getting my wish.

      And Jaso I actually prefer to hit third, because speed does matter to me at the top of the lineup, but he might have the second best on-base skill in the lineup, so there’s a good argument to put him at leadoff (and he’s batted there a lot in his career, so other teams have thought the same thing).

      • Can I just please vent?

      • Jaso will never score on a double, is hard to bunt over, and is likely to be doubled up unless we are using the hit and run, which we would never force on cutch anyways. That lineup construction is nonsensical. Period. I am not going to comment further. My prediction is that if we lead off Jaso when he starts OR if we bat Cutch more than half the year at #2 OR both- that we lead the national league in men left on base

        • But McCutchen last year came up with none on and two outs more than anyone else in baseball last year. This small lineup change could help correct that inefficiency.

          There are only two places in the lineup for Cutch to bat, and neither of them is 3rd. 2nd is my favorite spot for him, 4th is second on that list. Those are the two biggest run producing spots in the lineup. 3rd is tied with 5th for fourth on that list, there’s no reason for Cutch to bat 3rd.

          To wit, a Five Thirty-Eight article regarding the same: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-spot-in-mlb-lineups-where-managers-are-still-ignoring-sabermetrics/

          I’d personally like to see something like Polanco, Cutch, Jaso, Kang, Marte, Cervelli, Harrison, Mercer for the lineup, especially if Polanco comes into his own this year.

          • Fantastic post.

          • I realize that fact darkstone, but honestly……who cares? This is not a table setter, its a guy you need to drive runs in. Moving him to 2nd just means he bats more often with 1 out and noone on…..fixes nothing, but now you score even less runs because you have noone to drive him in that you can count on. I heavily have stated on here over the past two years that Cutch needs to hit 4th. If we go down in the order in the first, he leads off- win for us…..the only way he can bat in the 1st inning is with someone on base….. THAT is what fixes the inefficiency.

            • Well, you can fix the inefficiency by having him bat second and getting 20 more at bats or by having him bat fourth and getting 20 fewer. Either fixes the inefficiency, which is why I’m fine with either, but give me the solution which gives Cutch more at bats, especially since he’s as valuable in run production through on-base skill and baserunning as he is in power and RISP numbers (which, last year, were excellent, but the previous year were not, and which, universally, are highly subject to variance).

              So you have two solutions which increase the density of favorable situations, but one of those solutions also provides an opportunity for more events. More events at a higher density of favorable situations is a win-win. Batting Cutch second is a win-win. Third is inexcusable, second versus fourth is a question of what you value more, more at bats or more RBI opportunities. I value more at bats, especially for an elite OBP player like McCutchen.

              And the fellows at Five Thirty-Eight are pretty darned good at their jobs, and if they think a statistical model has merit, I’m inclined to trust them. But if you want more, while I can’t give you access to the original reference, he’s a conceptual explanation for why lineup optimization is what it is.

              http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/3/17/795946/optimizing-your-lineup-by

              Also, batting the pitcher eighth would be a great compliment to batting Cutch second. I’d be all for that. And it might be worthwhile to bat Harrison ahead of Cervelli, since Harrison can steal bases, and Cervelli is more of a hit for average guy than a hit for power guy.

              • I disagree, but i respect your opinion. anecdotal evidence is highly subject to variance based on lineup construction beyond placement and is highly dependent on the other players skills and where those skills are set as placement in the lineup. To my knowledge, this is literally nothing which takes this into account when blanket statements are made such as “2nd is the most valuable spot in the lineup for run production” to me, it’s BS and not based off true accurate analysis of all the variables involved. ….and batting Cutch 4th, those 20 plate appearances could be made up IF players with better OBP were put in front of him, you could easily add 2-3% of plate appearances per year by having one lineup player in front of him with that much of an increase over the year before, just sayin.

              • I see where you are coming from truly, looking at the same Votto situation in 2nd, but what you have happen, is get a player who walks even more when you want extra base production, he becomes less aggressive and less productive. The last thing you want to do is change Cutch’s mindset to a OBP guy, because it is inherently less valuable. I think we are doing teams a favor by hitting him second, because there is noone to fear hitting behind him. he would be likely to lead the league in left on base in that scenario. With players in front of him, they want to get them out so they don’t pitch with cutch on base, hence better pitches to hit. The fewer batters in front of him…..the more the pitcher’s spot in the lineup dictates outs in an inning with him on base, the worse for the team as a whole

              • I did read that, and they make a few points which absolutely agree with me. “The cleanup hitter is the best hitter on the team with power.” – well that’s Cutch. – about the 2nd hitter, ” And since he bats with the bases empty more often than the hitters behind him, he should be a high-OBP player” – that’s exactly what the team is trying to fix by moving him from 3rd to 2nd, batting less with noone on base.

                – for these two reasons, my point is made. Cutch should be batting 4th, like he should have been hitting there the last 4 years. Whether or not he should hit #3rd or #2nd is not my point and is not my argument, it’s always been that if they are going to change him, it should be 4th given the lack of power behind him. I would actually hit Jaso 2nd when he plays or even Cervelli, with Marte 3rd, and Polanco leading off. Kang would hit 5th, Harrison 6th, whomever 7th and Mercer 8th

      • I would have to see more of this “statistically the most valuable run-producing spot” because there are about 14 million variable controls you’d need for that to be a statistically viable and verifiable statement

    • Woe, dude!

  • Personally, I think it’s unprofessional what LaRoche was doing. I mean, these grown men prolly had to watch their mouth around his kid and/or felt uncomfortable at their job. Every once in a while is great, but all the time? His mind prolly wasn’t where it was supposed to be 100% of the time.

    • Totally agree. Just because you want your kid there doesn’t mean that all of your co workers do. Try and take other people’s situation into account sometimes instead of your own desires.

  • Locke and his new delivery got crushed again today.

  • Hughes and Caminero getting rocked every outing so far. BP looks very shaky right now.

  • Anyone else see the new updates on the Laroche situation? It seems like it’s getting weirder and weirder…

    • It seems a little ridiculous to me. Their GM wasn’t banishing his kid from the clubhouse, he just wanted him to come less frequently. When you’re not winning, that’s the price you pay. Name another profession that has the privilege of taking their children to work every single day. He’s really “sticking it to the man” by retiring and having that 13 million come off the books..

      • Teachers

      • If you think a kids presence in the clubhouse is why you are losing, you shouldn’t be in management because you don’t have a freaking clue. There is a lot of literature that indicates that there were some really great effects that can come from sons watching their fathers at work. Seems like the white sox upper management is more of the problem than La Roche’s kid.

        • And you really think it was only White Sox management who wanted this?

          • Agreed NMR. First thing I thought of was who all was complaining to management about the distraction.

        • Didn’t say the kids presence was behind them losing. Simply stating that when you’re a struggling team, you get punished and lose luxuries such as this. If LaRoche played like an allstar last year, this most likely wouldn’t be going on right now.

      • peanutbutterguts
        March 17, 2016 4:43 pm

        As a grown ass man without kids I would be furious if I had to watch my P’s and Q’s in a place such as a mlb clubhouse because someone thinks their kid is super important. I couldn’t imagine that happening in my diverse office setting, let alone a place that only employs 20-38 year old males. I can’t believe that anyone could argue differently.

      • And even if you were a team who won a WS, its a nice season with a few new faces where you gotta get the work in to get ready.

        Its not to say the kid cant be there or you cant get work in with a kid around, but man the reaction from the players is odd. Boycotting because management asked to cut back how often the kid is around? I get its a teammate and you all likely like the kid but woah.

        I honestly thought this would be a story that was already gone and most people didnt care about.

    • And now the expected clubhouse divide has surfaced between the players vocally in favor of him staying and those who obviously complained to Williams in the first place.

      This is why you don’t bring your kids to work. Simple.

      • The White Sox put themselves in the situation by telling him he could do it. It was agreed upon before he signed with them. Right or wrong, shame on the Sox for going back on their word.

        • No argument there.

          But LaRoche isn’t without fault here either, IMO. If it was a distraction to the team, and clearly not something anywhere near necessary, then I don’t care if management agreed to it or not. Refusing to budge at all is selfish.

          Look, Adam LaRoche was one of the very worst players in the entire game last year. His career is clearly over, and this is clearly an indication that he no longer has the competitive drive required to play at the highest level. Nobody that is either a caring father (as LaRoche undoubtedly is) or at the peak of their craft will say you can be both at the same time. Simply too much distraction in either.

          I don’t see why any more needs made out of this than that.

          • I agree with you that if it was a distraction something should’ve been done about it. Honestly Laroche should’ve been man enough to take care of it himself. I also think if he had played better this wouldn’t be going on right now. Obviously the Sox didnt want to pay him 13 mil to suck. So they knew what to do. This was his kryptonite and they knew it. Now they’re off the hook for the cash and don’t have to try and find him a place in the lineup.

            • You bet.

              Didn’t hear anyone complaining when Bonds’ kid was getting run over in the middle of live games while dad was mashing 70, right?

              • Absolutely! I think one thing we can all agree on is that NOBODY wants to be in that White Sox club house right now!

              • Big difference between Bonds and “one of the worst players in baseball”. Kenny Williams probably should have just said…
                “Hey Adam – let’s try something different – why not focus on getting of to a good start and not having a year like last year. Then we can revisit how much time Drake spends in the locker room”

                • You successfully presented one of the few ways this situation could have been totally mishandled by Williams.

                  He says that and he deserves the team to boycott. Williams handled breaking it to LaRoche well, in that he didnt get personal or make it all or nothing but just asked the kid to find a different hobby a few times a week.

              • peanutbutterguts
                March 17, 2016 10:51 pm

                I think that was Dusty Baker’s kid.

      • Let’s hope he retires and then trade the Sox one of our leftover DH defensive deficient slugs to clean out some roster mismanagement.

        • Bill, snap out of it. You’re hallucinating it’s still 2015 and Pedro’s at 1B.

          By the way, Dr Dog came through the ‘burgh wednesday. Great show!

  • Don’t forget about Nicasio everyone!!!!!!!

  • Why do pitchers need to learn what pitch to throw in different situations? Doesn’t the catcher or even the manager make those calls. It seems like, if that was the only thing holding him down, they could just instruct him not to waive off the pitch call from the catcher.

    • Waive off the catcher? Only if you want to see one hit off the bull in RF.

    • It’s the mental side of being convinced that what the catcher is calling is the right pitch. If you don’t have 100% conviction in the call, mistake pitches becomes a higher probability. It’s not just trusting your stuff, but trusting everything from the time the catcher drops the fingers & taps a leg for location to executing the pitch.

  • Let’s say JT turns into a viable #2 starter (think perhaps Liriano):

    If we could redraft, would you still take him over Machado?

    • no

    • Machado can play short, right? If so, I take him every day over Tallion. Even he if becomes a solid #1. Imagine him hitting behind Cutch in the 4 hole. Having a SS who doesn’t have to hit 8th lengthens the lineup. Pitchers only play once every 5 days. That is why I’d take the hitter. Glasnow is a once a decade prospect. Rarely are you going to get someone with that high of ceiling that late in the draft. With the Pirates being small market, drafting Tallion was the only way they are going to have a chance at an ACE.

  • Scrappy & Chuck he had 2 1/2 months 2 years ago of really good pitching. He had a total of 10 quality starts out of 30 last year. So for the last 1 1/2 years he’s had roughly 1/4 – 1/5 quality starts. We’re not throwing him under the bus, his left arm is.

  • In the long run, Glasnow may prove to be the better pitchers, but for this year, and maybe even next, I expect Taillon to outperform him. So much more polish.

    • HartHighPirate
      March 17, 2016 6:59 pm

      Taillon age 24. Glasnow age 22. I can work on that for ‘the long run’.

  • I am new to this so I have to ask.

    How will they limit innings (pitches)?
    a) Will he only be pitching about 5 innings or
    – have a short pitch count at Indy? How many?
    b) Will he not always start every 5 games?
    c) Both?

  • Here’s a crazy idea, but if I was in charge of the Pirates I would offer him an 8 year deal(this year, his 6 pre arbitration years and his first FA year)

    This buys cost certainty for the Pirates
    JT knows that his career can derail at any moment.

    There is significant risk on both sides, but….

    • zombie sluggo
      March 17, 2016 1:16 pm

      Dave, I think there’s way too much risk at this point to offer that length of a deal to him. He needs to demonstrate at least one full good season, imho. They control him through age 31 right now.

    • He’s not a Borris client so there is more of a chance he will sign an extension prior to hitting arbitration. On the flip side Cole has little chance of signing an extension. the question with Cole is do the Pirates have a two year window or a 4 year window. His highest trade value is with two years left. After two years trade value can drop.

      • zombie sluggo
        March 17, 2016 2:36 pm

        EW, I think they can only trade Cole if both Taillon & Glasnow are pitching like top of the rotation starters at the time. If they are, Cole becomes s luxury that they can maybe part with for a huge haul of controllable players.

      • Scott Borris, v good.

  • I have been saying all along that I think JT will make a significant contribution this season. ButI hope it isn’t due to a significant injury or failure in the rotation.

  • I absolutely love his mentality throughout the entire period of being injured and during recovery.

  • Taillon will be in Pittsburgh by mid June and hopefully Locke and his new delivery will be placed out at the curb.

    • Personally, I hope Locke and his new delivery “crush it” this year and beyond. They can move one of the new guys to pen as long man or something. Locke has been an All Star “it wasn’t the mandatory every team gets one guy either” and earned it too. His issue has been a tale of two seasons 1st half of season Locke and 2nd half of season Locke. Not sure if he gets tired or what the issue is, but if the new delivery fixes the issue and the Pirates get All Star Locke back then great. At the end of the day though, having Taillon ready to go is a great problem to have…

      • Why does Locke have to be thrown under the bus? Scrappy, your 1st half 2nd half is spot on. and, if you take his entire season and compare to other teams 5th starter, you might be glad to have Locke. We have been spoiled the last two years by our 1-3 starters. Five years back, Locke would be our 1 or 2. With Locke, you have to use your bullpen more and earlier.

      • You nailed it on Locke Scrappy and I think you are inadvertently explaining that Locke should be a reliever…I think that will happen in 2016 and it will make the Pirates a better team.

    • I’d rather JT replace Vogelsong.

    • I’d rather JT replace Vogelsong too. If Locke can gain more consistency, he can be a pretty good pitcher. Like a poor man’s Tom Glavine (well, very poor).

    • I think they are in a position where they may risk Super 2 with Jameson Taillon if Locke or Voglesong pitch poorly in April. With Glasnow, Tyler definitely won’t be up until after mid-June or later.

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