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MILWAUKEE — There was some surprise among Pirates fans when manager Clint Hurdle lifted right-hander Ivan Nova for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning Sunday. Nova had tossed six innings of one-run baseball against the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing only four base-runners.
MILWAUKEE — Saturday was supposed to be a night off for Gregory Polanco, since he recently had slipped into an 0-for-11 funk at the plate. But with the bases full of Pirates and the pitcher up next in the sixth inning of a tied ballgame, manager Clint Hurdle beckoned to the bench and deployed Polanco as a pinch-hitter. Four fastballs from the rangy righty on the mound broke things open.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington neatly summarized the team’s two-year extension with David Freese when addressing the media Monday afternoon.
MILWAUKEE — Manager Clint Hurdle dared not dance around the Pirates’ dreadful history at Miller Park when he spoke before the series opener Thursday. His words, chosen carefully, were, “We’re still looking for the key to the lock here.” The search has gone on for nine years now, with 18 wins in 82 tries, and Hurdle admitted he’s tested many tiny tweaks over the years.
With the Pirates offense stuck in neutral, manager Clint Hurdle tried kicking it into gear with a new one-two punch atop the batting order Tuesday night against the Houston Astros. Off the bench came Adam Frazier to bat leadoff and play second base, followed by right fielder Matt Joyce batting second for the second time this season.
Before Jameson Taillon’s final two starts for Class AAA Indianapolis earlier this summer, the Pirates presented him with some information. Assistant general manager Kyle Stark, pitching coordinator Scott Mitchell and Indianapolis pitching coach Stan Kyles extolled the virtues of the two-seam fastball, which, at that point, represented 10 to 20 percent of Taillon’s heaters.
First base and the at-bats that come with it are Xavier Scruggs' for the taking.Marlins manager Don Mattingly slotted Scruggs, promoted Friday by the Marlins from Triple-A New Orleans, in at first base and batting sixth in the club's series opener with the Pirates. Mattingly suggested that could...
SAN FRANCISCO — If general manager Neal Huntington lost any supporters because of his decision to ship the Pirates’ closer, Mark Melancon, to the Washington Nationals at the non-waiver trade deadline, most already might have been won back by the golden left arm of Felipe Rivero.
SAN FRANCISCO — After Gregory Polanco poured in four RBIs from the No. 8 spot Monday night in the Pirates lineup, manager Clint Hurdle remarked, “That guy that hit double-cleanup tonight did pretty good. You don’t expect that down there.” Double cleanup? Is that a thing?
SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has maintained Gregory Polanco, in his ascent from blue-chip prospect to bona fide big-league star, would blossom into a power hitter who could hit for average against left-handed pitching.
SAN FRANCISCO — There’s a secret about Adam Frazier’s swing that manager Clint Hurdle isn’t ready to share. It’s one of three keys Hurdle has pinpointed for why Frazier, the rookie who hits left-handed, is 7 for 11 this season against left-handed pitchers. Beyond Frazier’s hand-eye coordination and ability to pass on pitches out of the zone, the third reason is “very visible,” Hurdle said.
The Pirates have had a losing record inside the National League Central in five of manager Clint Hurdle's first six seasons, Gregory Polanco finally gets an extra-base hit on an 0-2 pitch and beer prices remain flat at PNC Park.
LOS ANGELES — When the Pirates signed corner infielder David Freese midway through spring training, general manager Neal Huntington didn’t speak of Freese as a savior. The acquisition, Huntington said, gave the Pirates an “insurance policy” until Jung Ho Kang returned from rehabbing his knee, at which point Freese would become John Jaso’s platoon partner at first base.
The meeting in the visiting manager’s office at Miller Park added insult to Andrew McCutchen’s already infuriating season. Before the Pirates headed to Atlanta last week, manager Clint Hurdle told McCutchen to sit the next series. It wasn’t a request so much as an order, a distress signal spelled out on the lineup card as the manager tried to right a season sinking steadily deeper.
Pirates notebook: General Manager Huntington hopeful for new talent as Pirates continue waiver watch
General manager Neal Huntington said the Pirates will continue to monitor the waiver wire in search of talent to add to the active roster. The non-waiver trade deadline passed last Monday, but players and prospects still can be swapped in August and September using the waiver system.
Andrew McCutchen will return to his regular spot in the Pirates lineup and his regular spot in center field tonight as the Pirates open a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. This return to regularity comes on the heels of an irregular weekend in Atlanta when manager Clint Hurdle benched McCutchen in the latest effort to pull the struggling star from his season-long slump.
When manager Clint Hurdle phoned Francisco Liriano shortly after the left-hander was traded Monday to the Toronto Blue Jays, their conversation eventually turned to Ivan Nova, a right-hander acquired earlier in the day from the New York Yankees. Liriano already had spoken with Nova that afternoon, sharing his experiences in Pittsburgh and the Pirates’ pitching philosophy.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said the financial flexibility created by the team’s trade deadline moves will be used to enhance the on-field product in the offseason. “Reallocation of dollars” back into the team is one of his go-to phrases, and to be honest, that would be OK — if it were to actually come to fruition.
Luis Severino is still viewed by the Yankees as a starter, but Chad Green gets the ball Wednesday night against the Mets at Yankee Stadium in the third of four Subway Series games. “He’s lined up perfect,’’ manager Joe Girardi said of Green, who gets the start because Ivan Nova was dealt to the Pirates...
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington had a conference call Monday evening to explain the Pirates’ trade deadline deals, and I think he used the word “costs” and phrase “financial flexibility” three times each within the first three or four minutes.
So the Nationals have finally landed a new closer, with Mark Melancon coming from Pittsburgh. General manager Mike Rizzo sent left-hander Felipe Rivero and prospect Taylor Hearn to the Pirates in hopes that he can solve the late-inning issues that...
MILWAUKEE — Left-hander Jeff Locke and right-hander Ryan Vogelsong will get a chance to start for the Pirates this week in a road series against the lowly Atlanta Braves. Manager Clint Hurdle revealed right-hander Gerrit Cole will pitch Tuesday, followed by Locke and Vogelsong.
MILWAUKEE — Felipe Rivero thought he was in trouble. He was showering in the Washington Nationals clubhouse Saturday when he heard manager Dusty Baker wanted to see him.
MILWAUKEE — Felipe Rivero thought he was in trouble. He was in the clubhouse Saturday, taking a shower before the game, when he heard manager Dusty Baker wanted to talk to him.