Last night, I was planning on writing about how Alen Hanson should be playing in the Pirates’ lineup for the rest of the year. Then, a bunch of transactions took place, and I changed up the First Pitch article, recapping the busy day.

I figured I could wait, because sadly the Alen Hanson story would be the same today. There was a small part of me that thought “They just shut down Gerrit Cole for the year, just lost Josh Harrison for the year, and now they’re giving shots to Wade LeBlanc and Zach Phillips…surely they’ll play Hanson!”

Then tonight’s lineup came out. The 70-73 Pirates did not start Hanson, and instead, started Sean Rodriguez at second base, with Adam Frazier in left field. Hanson didn’t even get in the game. He still has just six plate appearances to his name so far.

Here’s the situation with Hanson. He’s out of options next year, which means he has to be on the active roster, or they have to trade him in the off-season, or designate him for assignment in the off-season. His value has dropped each year, going from dreaming about a potential impact starter after his 2012 breakout, to maybe an above-average starter, to an average starter, and now to a super utility player who could still have a shot at being an average starter. He’s got good speed, and good hitting tools, plus he can play the second base position. His problem is consistency, and lately it has been him pushing too hard to reach the majors, getting to the point where he’s taking huge cuts at every pitch, trying to hit home runs, when he’d be fine just making solid contact and using his speed for singles and doubles.

Hanson has struggled at every new level he’s played at. I always had concerns about his eventual promotion, since that thought of the future always took place in an era where the Pirates were actual contenders. How would a team manage to ease him into the majors and deal with those initial struggles? The question now is whether the consistency issues, and trying too hard to stick in the majors, will be a problem.

Here’s the situation with the Pirates. They’re now 70-74, and six games out of the Wild Card spot, with three teams ahead of them. They just shut down a few key players. Again, they’re giving chances to Wade LeBlanc and Zach Phillips. I actually like that approach. See what you have in them, and maybe they can be bullpen options for you next year, as they both have years of control remaining. I can also think of one other person this approach would apply to.

The Pirates are in the perfect situation with Hanson. The games the next three weeks don’t matter. If Hanson comes up and has his usual struggles at a new level, it won’t impact them. If he comes up and still has consistency issues from pressing too hard, it could give him a chance to actually settle in. Their starting second baseman is out for the year, so you don’t have the awkward situation of sitting a guy to play someone who won’t be taking his job next year. The guy who is getting starts, Sean Rodriguez, has put together an amazing season, but is a free agent at the end of the year.

The only thing that might make sense here is that the Pirates don’t want to bench Rodriguez, possibly with the hope of bringing him back next year. If that happens, there’s no need to play Hanson, because he’s not going to be on the team. The bench is currently David Freese, Chris Stewart, Adam Frazier, and John Jaso is currently in the mix. They could get rid of Jaso and have both Rodriguez and Hanson on the roster, but I feel like they’d want a true outfielder in that group.

But you could still get playing time for Hanson in that scenario. Bench Adam Frazier, who has his spot locked down next year. See what you’ve got in Hanson. Use the remainder of this lost season to get him acclimated to the big leagues. Because he needs to be up next year, and unless the Pirates just don’t have him in the plans at all, they should be playing him.

**Giles: Drew Hutchison Is A New Kind of Project For the Pirates. Ed Giles wrote about Drew Hutchison today. One key note is that Ray Searage hasn’t even started working with him. As we learned in Alan Saunders’ article on Ivan Nova, Searage likes to see a pitcher throw a few times before making suggestions and working on them. So we haven’t even seen Hutchison as a reclamation project yet.

**Instructs Report: Will Craig Moves to First Base, But Not For the Reason You’d Expect. The games at instructs started today, and I’ve got a notebook packed with info you can’t find anywhere else. An interesting note on the first round pick this year, and video and reports on the new pitchers from the Arquimedes Caminero trade, plus a few new guys just up from the DSL.

**Pirates Begin 2017 Schedule at Fenway Park. I kind of like this schedule. I can envision some easy road coverage for the site, which means easier travel for the Pirates. I’ve already started booking road coverage for next year, including that series in Fenway.

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  1. Rodriguez has had a decent season but he’s exactly the type of player the Pirates seem to be planning to replace if you look at their emphasis in the minors on developing utility-type players. I don’t see why the lost much by going with some young guys next year vs. veteran like Rodriguez.

  2. You are being logical about Hanson and that’s something that is not in evdience or appreciated in the Pirate head shed.

    Next, you’re going to suggest they invest in some FA starting pitching or trade for it.

    Oh, wait, you already did that.

  3. Well Hanson is not in the lineup again today!

    Tim has expressed concerns about negativity on the comments and that comments are “aside from the point” in relation to the articles.

    I think there’s an easy explanation for the “negativity”: The poor performance of the MLB team, combined with stripping prospects who have been written about by Tim and colleagues as having potential out of the system (the future). In other words, the team as constructed this year badly underperformed the clubs from 2013 – 2015, people are frustrated that the Pirates didn’t make it past the WC in ’14 and ’15, and the Pirates haven’t been remotely competitive with the Cubs this year.

    Yes this is the best site about the Pirates by far, and speaking for myself the negativity in the comments has nothing to do with the content of the site (which is excellent) and everything to do with the way the organisaiton has operated this year,

    If anything I’d like to see Tim as GM!!!

  4. It seems to me that Hanson is getting the same treatment that Mercer got when he was first called up. It drove me nuts that Mercer wasn’t playing. The explanation given later was that Mercer was supposed to learn by absorbing the atmosphere, gaining confidence he belonged there. I am not a fan of the approach, but it seems Mercer wasn’t hurt long term. Most of Hanson’s liabilities seem to be mental rather than physical. So maybe they are working on that.

  5. Pirate management is crazy to not play Hanson. Hurdle is a dam puppet doing whatever he is told by NH. Hanson is the best defensive second baseman in AAA. Please give him a chance to prove he can not do it. I can see them designating him for assignment and him turning into an All-star for another team.

  6. Everyone knows that FOO has Hurdle’s and NH’S ear. FOO can’t stand Hanson and he thought Walker was a Yinzer, and HAPP was HAPPLESS. If FOO would start rooting for the Cubs and intertwine his MOJO life would be good for the BUCCOS and their FANS.

  7. I completely agree with Tim, at this point it is ludicrous to be starting SRod at 2B instead of Hanson. Let the kid play for the rest of the season and see what he can do. We already know what SRod can do. This season may be lost, but the last 18 games are an opportunity to begin preparing for next season by seeing how the younger players look. Let’s not waste that opportunity.

  8. I’m guessing FO simply doesn’t think Hanson is really any good. But then again, this is same FO that might start next year with 5 xfip pitchers like kuhl and brault in rotation so maybe Hanson is really good

  9. I just don’t understand a lot of what is going on. One possibility is that they have decided that Hanson is going to get a fair shot at making the team in spring training next year and just don’t see a reason to give him ABs this fall.
    But why keep around some guys who are not going to be on the team next year.
    Why go through the whole non tendering process
    Free up roster spots – start making rule 5 decisions and plan for ’17

  10. It’s really simple Hurdle has his guys & it doesn’t matter how many young guys you bring up, he’s not playing them unless you give him no choice. The Pens were smart enough to fire their coach who did the same & it helped win the cup. Bucco’s we’ll see?

  11. I checked Cot and Sean Rodriguez also gets a $50,000 bonus after 100 games for every additional 10 games he plays and also gets additional money for the amount of hits he gets. The Pirates must be planning on trying on keeping Sean or they would have cut his playing time to cut costs as well.

  12. WHO WOULD IT BE ??????
    If the Pirates had to trade one of their starting 8 in order to land a decent Starting Pitcher, which one do you all think is most expendable?

    • Marte Bell and Polonco are untouchable. I’d say Mercer is close to untouchable this offseason too because there isn’t a SS in the system close to ready who can hit at all. I wouldn’t trade Kang because I think he is great and again there doesn’t seem to be many options in the minors at third.

      I would be completely ok with the Pirates trading up to 2 other position players for a legitimate #1, #2 or #3 starter. Right now their roster is full of potential #4 and #5 starters, so I’d want a pretty good pitcher coming back or there’d be no point.

      I’d think Cutch would be the only position player they have outside of Marte, Bell, Polonco, or Meadows who could fetch a good pitcher, but I’m not sure he hasn’t devalued himself to the point where he wouldn’t.

  13. This is a huge deal to me also. My one remaining hope with Hanson was that, finally being in the majors with his buddy Polanco, he would settle down. He would finally just play and forget about that ‘next promotion.’ And he would finally blossom into a major leaguer. I still think he has more talent than Frazier, Harrison, and Mercer – and this is the first time in four years we can play him without playoff pressure…

  14. This season has become the season from Hell. I have lost almost all confidence in Clint Hurdle and I’m really struggling to see how we’ve really built a foundation for our young players to help us in 17. Hanson not playing is idiotic but so has the refusal to play Frazier almost all year. The starting rotation is in shambles and doesn’t look to have more than questionmarks for hope in 17…the bullpen is a disaster although there is some talent there. The lineup is awful. Polanco has forgotten how to hit…Cutch looks like he is 39 and on his last lap and I don’t have hope for him in 2017 but we know Hurdle will bat him 3rd even if we lose 100 games and he ks 200 times while grounding into 60 DPs.

    This isn’t just frustration talking…this team is all out of sorts and I do lay some of the blame (Maybe a lot of the blame) at Hurdles feet. If Cutch is hurt then DL him instead of giving him time off in ATL. Take him out of CF and out of 3 hole. Play some of your younger players more…especially since we are not competing and the vets have sucked. I really do question whether Clint Hurdle should be here in 2017.

    • Honestly, I credit Hurdle for keeping the team competitive for as long as he did. This is probably the least talented pitching staff he is had since he has been here. Moreover, he had several veteran players grossly under perform. It is a miracle they were “in it” as long as they were. I don’t think that’s all Hurdle but I think he is a good manager.

      That said, at this point, there is absolutely no reason not to play young players. If it were me, I’d be playing Rogers, Hanson, Frazier, and Bell every night. I would probably also shut down veteran players with injuries sort of issues including Taillon Marte, McCutchen and Kang. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with playing players who aren’t in your long-term plans if it makes sense to avoid getting someone important hurt or if there is interest in re-signing them. I think it is not inconceivable for Sean Rodriguez to be back. Ditto Nova.

      They would’ve been in a much better place if either then decided to go for it this year order to make it a full blown youth movement right from the start. Doing what they did really was frustrating to watch and accomplished nothing. I don’t see them as set up to compete next year and they certainly did not compete for anything this year.

      Not to be annoying redundant and negative. : |

  15. Seriously, did NH have some sort of nervous breakdown? From saying things in the off-season about going after the Cubs and the Central crown, then “bridge year” ? Not to mention thinking the rotation he assembled would be able to produce. One has to think, who is writing up the daily lineup card? Is he pulling a Billy Beane in “Moneyball and taking that away from Hurdle? Playing Frazier in the OF, playing Bell in the OF, not even giving Hanson a sniff of playing time, playing Sean Rod everyday when he’s not going to be here next season….I was one of his biggest supporters, but this is a terribly mis-managed team from the top this season.

  16. Can someone answer why they’re seemingly pushing Frazier as a “Super-U” guy? He is one of the worst OF’ers I’ve ever seen….He has terrible hands, his arm is equally as bad. To me, the only position he can handle is 2b and he’s questionable there as well. He better be able to continue to hit, or he will be out of the league in a hurry. His judgements on the basepaths are not good, but I guess we can chalk that up to trying too hard to make an impression.

    • By and large the Pirates are below average on the bases.

      A pet peeve of mine is the PBC trying to make a lot of its non superstars into super utility types. SRod is good at it and so was Harrison. Indy had practically every infielder playing all over the place. Some guys aren’t cut out for it and Frazier is one of them. But, I like his bat.

        • Exactly.
          Does it make sense that the FO doesn’t see them as future starting pieces and think their only possible role is as a fill in? How many utility players should it take on one team?

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t fattening up Frazier as a trade chip. “Young 2B w 370 OB% potential” sounds like a terrific 1 of 2 pieces in a trade for a MLB SPto help the rotation.

      Hanson isn’t going anywhere. He will be on the 25 man next spring and turning the double play in 2018.

      • The only thing that I can figure about Hanson is he’s in the doghouse and he’s getting the Tabata treatment. We’ve heard about attitude problems….I just don’t get why in the world they’re putting Frazier in the OF…If they want his bat in the lineup, put his ass at 2b and Sean Rod in LF.

        • Hanson hasn’t had any attitude problems at AAA, has he.
          In agreement about Frazier at second and SRod in the OF.
          Injuries have pretty well derailed any OF depth, but I’d like to see Marte (if he’s able to return) get some starts in CF.

          • I haven’t heard any issues lately on hanson…I think it was in AA? Wasn’t he pulled in the middle of a game, then was bench for a week or so? I highly question the majority of the decision making across the board this year.

            Something else I’ve noticed about this site – Some of the guys that really knew baseball inside and out (Luke S, NRM, among others) have jumped ship. Most of the posters on here now, are redundant and/or overly negative. I know it’s easy to be negative right now, but bringing up Hutchison 5 times a day, or to say PTBNL is Meadows and Keller is making this site a joke..

            • “is making this site a joke..”

              I hope you’re talking about the comments, because we’re still doing the same hard work in the actual articles.

              But yeah, it’s annoying to post an article from instructs with tons of content that no one else has, and that no other team has the equivalent of for their prospect sites (if they have them), only to have the responses being about the MLB team’s struggles. And those responses are the same thing posted in every thread.

              • You certainly have to notice the level of baseball intellect has started to dissipate on the commenting side. This site certainly does it’s due dilligence with you and Drekker doing the minor league reports, but you have to notice what’s going on over at BD, seems they’re keeping up with the minors pretty well with “Cannonballs coming” Also, does Wilbur write on here anymore? Or is it I haven’t noticed since the minor league seasons are over?

                • Wilbur just got finished updating all of the player pages on the site here. He and I covered Mitch Keller’s debut together two weeks ago.

                  I’ve seen the comments at BD, and they talk about the minors, but not to this extent. They’ve always had a minor league recap. Other sites have as well. It’s the “you can get free content anywhere” argument. Talking about the minors from afar and doing what we do here are two entirely different things. I notice a lot of things that are wrong in the comments over there, even from some people who have subscriptions here.

                  As for the comments here, I definitely have noticed that it’s the same complaints daily, and it’s extremely negative. For example, Alan posted an article on Nova the other day that had info no one else had. He spent a few days talking with Nova, Searage, and doing follow-up interviews. It goes into detail the success he’s having, and what led to that success. Again, no one has this information.

                  It got 9 comments.

                  Ed posted an article yesterday on Drew Hutchison. It was a great article, but didn’t have the answers the Nova article had, simply because there aren’t answers to have right now. It did have good info explaining that Hutchison hasn’t even worked with Searage yet on changes, and explaining how he’s a different type of reclamation project.

                  It got 53 comments. And most of those came across like they didn’t even read the article, and just saw Hutchison’s name in the title.

                  Both were great articles. One was about the best story for the Pirates right now, and explaining why that story is taking place. The other was just an update on a player who was in a controversial trade six weeks ago. The negative one got six times the amount of comments.

                  It’s this type of stuff that makes me laugh when people say that I write positive things because selling that will get people subscribing and reading. Negativity sells. Even the comments in the Nova article were negative, in that they won’t sign him, or that he isn’t really this good.

                  And if you think there’s not the same negativity and discussion at BD, then I don’t think you’ve been reading their comments.

                  From my perspective, Pirates fans have always gravitated towards negativity, which makes sense, considering the history. You post something positive, and it’s either dismissed outright, or met with skepticism. You post something negative, and it’s embraced, and there’s no similar skepticism saying “maybe this isn’t correct”. And so when a team is having a negative season, people rush to the negative stories, and completely ignore the positive ones.

                  Here’s a behind the scenes fact: the Drew Hutchison story, which went up yesterday, already has more page views than my season recap on Mitch Keller, and Alan’s article on Nova. That’s the best story in the minors, and the best story in the majors. It has more views than any single article about the Marauders winning a championship. It actually leads in page views this week.

                  That’s how it is all the time. The bulk of Pirates fans obsess over the negative, and ignore the positive. And when they’re losing, that becomes even more apparent. It’s nothing to do with this site. It’s happening everywhere. If there was a comment section that gave equal attention to Nova and Keller as Hutchison, I’d love to see it.

                  As for the site, all I can do is provide that equal attention in the articles we produce. The rest is out of my control.

                  • I guess I just miss the guys on here that had actual substance to their posts…You know, the ones that could actually back of claims with factual statements and metrics. it gets so tiresome reading about how bad Hutchison is 20 times a day, or how we’re trading Keller for LeBlanc, and the complete over exaggeration. It’s not fun debating with those guys, because it’s so damn redundant with zero substance.

                  • Pirates’ fans negativity isn’t a recent phenomenon. There is at least a 50 year history of negativity. In the ’60s the Bucs were a great hitting .500 team in a cavernous park. After the move to 3 Rivers, fans were negative in the ’70s, too. Just look at the attendance figures for those years. Sure, there was ’71 and ’79, but there was also the Can of Corn, and the bitter failure of 1978, and perhaps the best team of those years losing to the Reds in the playoffs (1972). Then in the ’80s, there was the Kevin Koch thing. And in the ’90s? Sid Bream, and the best player in baseball who was also the most unlikeable superstar since Ty Cobb. And THEN The Streak.

                    The Streak just piled on to all those years of frustration.

                    In our defense, Pirates fans know the game as well as any fan base in the country, and with sites like PP we know our farm system probably better than any other fan base; we probably know THEIR farm system as well as they do. We are gluttons for information as a substitute for victory; information brings hope.

                    The 2016 team just never put it all together. When they were hitting, they weren’t pitching, and when they were pitching, they weren’t hitting. Next.

                  • Tim, I think some of the negativity stems from the Pirates operating as an extremely closed organization and bound too tightly by money constraints. Another contributing factor is that some fans feel that they have been misled (I don’t want to use the term ‘lied’ to).

                    Injuries are part of the game. But more than once when when there is an injury at any level the Bucs are very closed mouthed about it.

                    I keep thinking that the bubble will burst as far as Nova is concerned. Given the constraints the FO operates under, it would be a shock to see him sign with the Pirates after the season. If that is a negative so be it. But, NH is at least partially to be blamed with his FinFlex statement after the Liriano trade. For whatever reason, the money is not there.

                • The minor league information at BD is about 1/20th of what is here. Even their MLB coverage is only game recaps, with an in-depth article about once a week, compared to MLB in-depth articles almost daily (or more) here. PP is one of the best sporting sites available. No one gives you more in depth organizational coverage. No one.

                  • Coverage there has slipped almost as much as the PBC. Little to no pregame coverage, little to no post game coverage (especially by CW), no longer any Ask BD or series previews. Wilbur still has his biting comments, which are my favorite reads.

                    No comparison between the sites. I mainly go there to read the comments.

              • Tim, to be fair, I’d guess 99% of subs/readers are here because of the parent club, unless they live in Indy, Altoona or Bradenton.

                I know that while I’ve been at Pirate City two out of last three years – primarily because of PP – I still don’t get excited about anyone until they’ve hit AA and are still playing exceptionally well for that level (and are age appropriate).

                This is life. Pirates fans are upset and with legitimate reason to be so. With a bevy of bad acquisitions, Brault and Kuhl being only so-so at best, Frazier forgetting his glove, and Glasnow looking more like a pen guy than a starter, there’s a bit more cynicism about how good the prospects really are than there would be if the Bucs were still contending.

            • I think Hanson had a couple of problems at AA and can remember some in A. But since he’s been at AAA I think he’s been ok.
              I plead guilty to being negative. The frustration has been mounting and it does seem that NH has basically done very little to address problem areas. There’s no need to keep saying Hutch is a valuable piece. Thus far he doesn’t pass the eye test. I would like too see the youngsters get everyday playing time.
              One callup who has generated very little chatter is Rogers. He is another fellow who doesn’t appear to have a future with the PBC. Broxton could be of use to the Pirates with Marte out and Cutch being what he is this season.

            • Partially why I stayed away from posting at all for awhile. Just came back bc this article brings up a huge and important point that I think needs some discussion.

  17. Tim: You surprised me coming out that strong for Alen Hanson. I have believed in his abilities since 2012 when he and Polanco were challenging one another for Minor League Player of the Year. He is that type of player who will frustrate a Manager in practice or meaningless games, but when the bright lights go on, he is out there leading the team.

    He elevates – the Pirates cannot accept and take advantage of his attributes; instead we try to change him. We see that as inconsistency but the numbers he put up in ST .333/.417/.381/.798 and the slash line for August 2016 right before the call-up of .309/.330/.489/.819 are indicative of a kid showing what he has to offer. We just cannot seem to appreciate those numbers.

    Defensively he had a .984 Fld Percentage at 2B in 2015, and a .990 Fld percentage at 2B in 2016. Both years he was recognized by Baseball America as the Best Defensive 2B in the AAA International League.

    He has been seen in a negative light since NH thought it best to move him from 2B (where he was excellent in the DSL) to SS where he averaged about 35 errors a year. His attention span and overall attitude were called into question, and then we decided to move him back to 2B where he again shined brightly. No doubt in my mind that as he matures he will be able to play SS as well as anyone in our organization.

    This kid is way to valuable to let go and I see him and Newman as being very strong up the middle and 1, 2 in the lineup.

  18. Need a reporter to go up to NH and ask the question “What are your plans for Hanson, the 23 year old speedster that is rated as the best defensive 2nd baseman in AAA IL last two years” can follow up with he has to be up next year or traded and furthermore your current starting 2b is out for the remainder of the year. Put him on the spot and make him answer.

    • Exactly. The ability of NH to give evasive, disassembling non-answers would be supremely challenged by that question.
      There is absolutely no good reason to keep Hanson out of the starting lineup at this point. Find out what he looks like under the bright lights.

      • There is no way NH would answer that.
        Hanson sits. Kang sits in the midst of his most impressive stretch as a Pirate. Hutch continues to be nonimpressive. It ends in two and half weeks, but what is it going to be like next season?

    • A better question for both Huntingdon, and Hurdle also, would be : just what the hell is the plan for this team going forward ? They sure haven’t shown it during the past few weeks.

  19. I don’t see why Frazier would automatically be given a bench role next year. It should be an open competition between he and Hanson. Frazier has shown to be below average to terrible no matter where in the field he’s had to play defense.

    • As a manager your job is to try to win especially when you still have a chance at postseason. As stupid as it seems to all of us, CH probably remembers the epic run the Rockies had to the playoffs so he continues to believe. I kind of respect Clint for that.

  20. I’m following (barely at this point, too painful) from Australia and have been wondering the same thing. Why in the world do they not put Hanson in the lineup? He looks like an athletic player with speed. Since he’s out of options why not see what he looks like at the major league level? It isn’t as if they haven’t been playing miserably lately, 3 – 13. With the woeful pitching options they’ve been running out there, so what if Hanson is absolutely terrible, would it really matter? They have 18 games left and if I were running this team Hanson would be starting at 2b in every single one of them. Off topic, but the whole year has seemed incomprehensible to me. I don’t get why 7 – 8 years down the line, they still don’t have strong pitching options – granted that Kingham is recovering from TJ and Glasnow simply ain’t ready based on everything that Tim has written. Just dumb dumb dumb “planning” to start the year with 1 reliable pitcher and 1 beta and the rest “hope” based on “delusion” (hope that Niese, Locke and Nicasio could be no worse than league average until Taillon, Glasnow and Kuhl came up at Super 2. Obviously, the talent level was just not equal to what the Mets did last year with Syndegaard and Matz. And they’re looking at another weak rotation next year with Taillon, Cole and question marks. Good luck with that one, NH. The Pirates look to be a real threat right now to fight….the Reds and Brewers for last place. Is this the long term polan, NH? Why do the Cubs have a Javy Baez, a Kris Bryant from their drafting and the Pirates have Tony Sanchez, Pedro (temporarily “ok”), McGuire (traded for nothing) to show for their 1st round picks. I have never seen Tim write that he thinks Will Craig has the look of an impact bat. What is going on here?????

    • “the Pirates have Tony Sanchez, Pedro (temporarily “ok”), McGuire (traded for nothing) to show for their 1st round picks. I have never seen Tim write that he thinks Will Craig has the look of an impact bat. What is going on here?????”

      The Pirates also have Cole and Taillon as first rounders. Plus there’s Austin Meadows and Kevin Newman, who could both be up in the next year or two.

      I’ve only seen Craig for six games, counting yesterday. If you’ve never heard me use the term “impact bat”, it’s because I wouldn’t use that term for anyone that I’ve only seen in short-season for a small amount of games.

  21. I’m looking forward to the draft next year already. Sitting at the 12-13 pick right now and with the comp pick rolling over, should be in the top 10 for money available to spend. Not to mention more money to sign international players too. I’m sure Tim doesn’t like to talk about it, but losing is good for business, should be an influx of good talent next year to keep the subscriptions coming.

  22. This season has been a discouraging one, more so than the late-season collapses we had a few years back. Refusing to play prospects in meaningless games, trading prospects in order to dump salary, trading prospects for rentals, signing older vets to extensions. It’s as though the spirit of McClatchifield has possessed the organization.

    • Has this season signaled what the future is about to become?
      Bell and Frazier have hit well. Each has defensive issues, but both their bats are needed. The F.O. spends 2 years trying to develop Bell into a first baseman, but Hurdle wants to put him in RF. Hanson might be the only guy suitable for the leadoff spot. He may not hit, but what is there to lose by playing him?
      I’d like to see Stallings more, even if he hovers around the Mendoza line. He is good behind the plate and has a great rapport with pitchers, just like a youngster who is now in the Blue Jays system.
      There are plenty of issues, but Hurdle is running a Sunday lineup out on the field too often.

    • Hanson is a switchhitter, which would make Polanco as a LH hitter and Bell and Hanson as guys who hit both ways, therefore at least 3 LH hitters in the lineup if the Pirates went that way.

    • According to Tim, Frazier is a lock for the bench and he’s a lefty…Although, I think he’s far from a lock and is more likely auditioning for a spot.

        • Have you watched him in the field? Does the bat outplay the glove? Can he sustain hitting like the in a bigger sample? I’ve seen so many guys come up late in the year and hit like this, then once they got extended time the next season, they flopped.

          • I think with the shit team we have had we should have used this time to find out, that’s for sure. His bat has done this elsewhere. There is history of that. I think he can handle a super Utility role just bc of his bat…but wouldn’t it be nice to have given him some time and found out more?

            • I think we’re finding out right now that his D doesn’t play at this level…If you want to be a SU, you better be able to play at least average D. I haven’t seen it.

              Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for the kid. He seems to be a good kid, with good work ethic, but the odds are stacked against him.

        • Frazier hit much better than Hanson in AAA. Hanson needs to but up an OPS above .800 in AAA to demo that he is ready because he’ll likely hit 50 to 100 OPS points lower in MLB.

    • Hanson is still only 23 and has been selected as the Best Defensive 2B in the AAA IL in 2015 and 2016 by Baseball America. In the last 3 months of 2016 he had an OPS of .718 in Jun, .750 in Jul, and .819 in Aug. He also had an .805 in Apr. His slash in Aug was .309/.330/.489/.819 with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 10 RBI in only 94 AB. He has averaged 35 SB/yr at AAA. Most teams in MLB would look at those numbers getting better each month and say “put this kid in the lineup right now”! CH obviously sees it differently. Mindboggling is appropriate.

      If this organization cannot see numbers like that and get excited that they are coming from a young, leadoff hitter with footspeed, then do the kid a favor and trade him rather than continuing to screw with his head.

      • You would think that if the FO has no use for him, Hanson would get some playing time to give other teams a chance to evaluate him for a trade.
        Eighteen pretty meaningless games left.

      • This. I don’t know why Hanson seems to be hated by this organization but any other organization would have at least given him a shot. Especially now in Sept. I don’t know if it is Clint or higher up, but trade the kid if you’re not going to give him a shot and watch him go and out perform JayHay

      • Microsplits aside, he’s put almost identically unimpressive stats two years running at AAA. An average hitter in AAA is likely to be a well below average one in the big leagues. And his lousy SB success rate suggests that skill might not translate either. I don’t understand the obsession with him amongst some Pirates fans. He’s got some raw talent and youth on his side, but there just isn’t anything to suggest that he’ll be an acceptable big league hitter right now. You *really* have to believe in his defense to think he’d be even okay overall.

    • I’m with you Scott. Every time good things started to happen they were always followed with a losing streak. This club could just not put it all together for any extended period of time.

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