Pittsburgh Pirates Mailbag: June 27th, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 24: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes the field in the first inning during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park on June 24, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 24: Sean Rodriguez #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes the field in the first inning during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park on June 24, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Oh it’s time, it’s time, it’s mailbag time!

It is indeed that time of the week again, Pittsburgh Pirates’ mailbag time here at Rum Bunter.

Before we get started we must take a moment to address sad news. The man from who our headline for each mailbag is drawn has passed away. Leon White, more commonly known as professional wrestling legend Vader passed away last week. As a lifelong wrestling fan, I say RIP, Vader.

Now, onto the fun stuff…this week’s mailbag! As always, thank you to everyone who participated by submitted questions now let’s dive in.

That is a fabulous question and one I do not have an answer for. Sean Rodriguez seems like a great teammate and an even better human being. At one point he was one of the most popular Pirates. However, his days as a Major League player appear to be over.

He is striking out in 33.6% of his at bats, he is slugging just .274, and his on-base percentage is a woeful .270. Factor in his poor defense this season and there really is no reason for Rodriguez to still be on this roster.

And all fo that goes without mentioning better, younger options at Triple-A such as Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer.

When the trade deadline rolls around I expect the Pirates to be quite active.

Assuming the team does not get back into contention and is looking to sell, you can expect pending free agents David Freese and Jordy Mercer to be traded.

Veterans on expiring contracts are likely to be shopped aggressively as well. This would be Corey Dickerson, Francisco Cervelli, Ivan Nova, and Josh Harrison.

Out of this group Nova would appear to be the on that would net the largest return. Team’s in contention are always desperate for starting pitcher, as you can read about here he has been excellent since returning from the disabled list, he has pitched in the postseason, and he comes with another year of team control.

If healthy, Cervelli would net a huge return as well. He is one of the best two-way catchers in the game and is also under control for 2019, but look for concerns about his concussion issues to drive his value down.

There are a lot of factors here. With the most important being Jung Ho Kang‘s performance. After starting 1-for-15 at Triple-A, Kang has gone 7-for-21 with a double, three walks, and he’s struck out just one in this stretch.

Kang has also been dealing with a wrist issue that has led to him playing in just two games in the past week. So, obviously, Kang needs to be healthy to return to the Majors.

Another factor is the Pirate 25-man roster. Who would go to make room for Kang? As we covered above Rodriguez is an obvious option, but for whatever reason the Pirates appear to be in no hurry to do away with Sean.

But if Kang keeps hitting and stays healthy, I would guess who see him back in the Major Leagues either by the All-Star Break or shortly thereafter. Possibly even sooner if there would happen to be an injury to an infielder.

Next: Bucs Walked Off By The Mets

That will do it for this week. If you ever have a question for out Pittsburgh Pirates’ mailbag look for out Tweet each week asking for mailbag questions.

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