Pittsburgh Pirates Mailbag: June 4th, 2019


It’s time for the first Pittsburgh Pirates mailbag in the month of June

Will the team look to address their pitching woes via trade? When might we see Mitch Keller again? What will the team do as injured players return to action? And more in this week’s Pittsburgh Pirates mailbag.

As always, thank you to everyone who submitted questions this week and participated. Now, let’s dive in!

There is no denying this team’s need for pitching help right now. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, the Pirate pitching staff is in dire need of help. One way to get said help is to address their needs externally by swinging a trade.

The problem is making trades in the first week of June is not easy. Right now, the team that would be selling would hold all the leverage. Furthermore, few teams are ready to sell right now. In a month, all of this will change. At some point this summer, Neal Huntington will likely add pitching help. But by the time he does it could be too late.

As for Mitch Keller, to be honest, he never should have been sent back to Triple-A after his MLB debut. At some point this season he will become a permanent member of the Pirate starting rotation. Hopefully, that will come before the All-Star Break.

If nothing else, Jordan Lyles seems like an obvious trade candidate if the Pirates fall out of contention. If this happens and they move Lyles, Keller could then take his spot in the rotation.

The Pirates are going to have a hell of a conundrum on their hands when Corey Dickerson returns from the injured list, and this is going to happen sooner rather than later. Dickerson has been rehabbing with Triple-A Indianapolis since May 24th, and should return to the Pirates soon.

In Dickerson’s absence Bryan Reynolds has burst onto the scene. Entering play on Tuesday Reynolds owned a .350/.409/.575 slash line with a .414 wOBA and 161 wRC+ in 132 plate appearances.

He has also been a plus defender, sitting in a tie with the player he was traded for, a guy named Andrew McCutchen, for second among NL left fielders in defensive runs saved at +5. All of this has led to Reynolds posting a 1.4 fWAR through the first 38 games of his career, while looking like a legitimate NL Rookie of the Year candidate.

Not playing Reynolds on an every day basis, especially with him being part of the team’s long term plans, will be tough to do. But that is the decision the team will face when Dickerson returns. With Dickerson set to hit free agency when the season ends, their best option could be to use him as trade bait once he is healthy. It will be interesting to see how things unfold.

As for Lonnie Chisenhall, he needs to get healthy and make it to the Pirates first and foremost. Right now, it remains to be seen if that will even happen. If it does, he will settle into a utility bench role for the Bucs.

This is one of the best mailbag questions we have ever gotten. I’m also going to go with Hannah.

Whenever my buddy Jon and I go to games we always wager the post game Sheetz trip on the pierogi race. He always picks Cheese Chester, while I go with Hannah. So, since Hannah is always my pick, I’ll go with my girl in green.

The one question around Ke’Bryan Hayes has always been if his power would develop or not. At Double-A last season the third base prospect slugged .444 with a .151 ISO and an extra base hit rate of 10.3%. Following his 2018 campaign, it appeared his power was developing.

Well, so far in 2019, it has yet to play to that level at Triple-A.

224 plate appearances into his 2019 campaign Hayes is slugging just .385 with a .138 ISO for the Indianapolis Indians. Until his power develops more, Hayes is not going to be promoted to the Major League level.

Now, keep in mind, Hayes is only 22-years-old. This is younger than most players during their first full season at the Triple-A level. His elite defense at third base and power outburst in 2018 helped shoot him up the ladder quickly. Hayes is still the third baseman of the future for the Pirates, the future is just not here quite yet.

Next. Pirates Select Quinn Priester In 1st Round Of Draft. dark

That will do it for this week. If you ever have a question for the mailbag look for our Tweet each week asking for questions. Also, do not be afraid to ever ask a question on Twitter/Facebook.