Clint Hurdle held his first press conference with the media today at the end of the first workout day. A summary of the interview and some analysis follows, with the video at the bottom of this article. For his comments on Pedro Alvarez, and for comments from Alvarez and video of Alvarez fielding, check out the earlier article: The Progression Of Pedro Alvarez At First Base.
**Hurdle talked about what the Pirates could do to get their pitchers performing better at the plate. He noted that just showing the numbers will help the pitchers understand, as well as making it a focus point this Spring. Last year the Pirates sent their starting pitchers to minor league camps to get extra at-bats, and that will continue this year. Minor league games don’t start until the 18th. Pirates pitchers last year finished 27th in WAR for batting, with a -0.7 WAR. If they manage to turn that around and become a top ten team, then the difference could be at least an extra win.
**I previewed all of the position battles this week, noting that there will be a battle for the fifth starter job, as well as battles in the bullpen and for the final bench spot. Hurdle confirmed that there is a spot open at the end of the rotation, as well as spots on the bench and in the bullpen.
**On whether Charlie Morton would be ready for Opening Day: “Charlie is on target.”
**When talking about making the Wild Card games the last two years: “Our goal now is to push it forward and win the division.”
**Hurdle talked about Jung-ho Kang at length. He said that the last name is pronounced “Gung,” which is about the fifth different version we’ve heard. He said that Kang will start off getting reps at shortstop until he gets comfortable, and will eventually move to third to get comfortable there. If that works out, they will move him to second base and get him some work there. So far, I’ve only seen Kang at shortstop. You can see video of him at shortstop here.
**Hurdle said the Pirates interviewed six internal candidates for the bench coach position, before deciding to split the workload of the job up between several people. The six candidates were Dean Treanor, Brad Fischer, Tom Prince, Rick Sofield, Dave Jauss, and Nick Leyva. He said that if they want to eventually transition to a bench coach, they can do that. This is definitely an interesting approach, and I think it could have a chance to lead to better results, since you focus on everyone’s strengths, rather than expecting one person to be strong in every area.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Consider not very well? Levitra makedonija
Maybe now that hurdle has his hips fixed he’ll be able to walk out to the mound a yank a pitcher before he implodes. ( only real beef I have with hurdle, and no I don’t think I could do a better job. He should be able to though)
It was tough watching him walk last year.
We’re gonna throw Kang around and see where it sticks.
If he hits, he’ll stick somewhere!