David Todd Podcast: Taillon’s Innings, Bell’s Swing, McCutchen Extension Talk

Yesterday I did my weekly radio interview with David Todd, discussing the latest events at Spring Training. Here were the highlights, with the interview below:

**We discussed how it is too soon for Andrew McCutchen extension talk. We also speculated on some odds on whether McCutchen would remain with the Pirates after the 2018 season.

**We both feel that Jung-ho Kang is on track for Opening Day, even though no one on the team will admit that.

**I updated the injury status of Cory Luebke and Gerrit Cole. I feel Luebke’s hamstring strain really hurts his chances of making the club.

**We discussed whether Jameson Taillon could be limited at the start of the season with his innings. I think that’s a definite possibility, and broke down how he could be limited.

**David asked about Josh Bell’s defense, along with my article on his swing changes, which you can read here.

**Speaking of first base, we talked about the crowded scene there beyond John Jaso, and who might have the inside track for bench roles.

  • Just listened. Good stuff. I caught up on yesterday too. The interview with Brault is great.

  • Bigger markets can assume bigger risks and live with the results, good or bad.

  • Here’s my painful stat of the day: The Phillies have paid Ryan Howard 90 mil for a -3 WAR the last 4 years. Even worse they paid 130 mil for a -0.5 WAR the last 6. If the Pirates had done that 6 years ago they might have gone defunct by now. The good news is Philly owes Howard at least 35 more mil after the 2017 buyout and there is no way he will be a plus WAR player as he is in the realm of Pedro bad range wise at 1B. How Amaro kept his job as long as he did is unbelievable. 7 years, 155 mil, and probably a -4 WAR or worse. Horrific.

    • Here’s another painful Howard fact…we could have had him for basically nothing during his monster years.

      • Ah yes…the infamous Kip for Ryan deal that was never confirmed but has been denied.

        And people wonder how urban myths start.

        Sigh.

        • The Kris Benson for Howard rumor was verified by multiple sources within the organization…those same folks also said the Kip scenario was never proposed.

    • A lot of that was bad play, but related to injury too. Which is the chance with any deal.

      I was surprised the other day with the extend Cutch at all costs talk, on other outlets the other day. In my opinion, they have him locked up for his prime, and letting him walk or trading him might be the wise course. As for Howard, who knows if it could have gone differently if he doesn’t snap his Achilles in the WS. Contracts are sticky things. Sometimes I think they are just dumb luck.

      • He was a 200 strike out per 162 games and bad defender pre-deal but if he kept hitting 40 HR per year it would look a lot better although it would still be a bad deal.

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