Tag:Clint Hurdle
Posted on: April 17, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 6:05 pm

McCutchen gets back on track with 3-hit day

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Andrew McCutchen CINCINNATI -- Sitting on the couch in the visitor's clubhouse, Andrew McCutchen watched himself reach out and send a Logan Ondrusek pitch into center field, scoring the eventual game-winning run in the Pirates' 7-6 victory over the Reds on Sunday.

Behind him, Pittsburgh outfielder Matt Diaz asked him, "Who is that kid?"

"I don't know -- just got called up today," McCutchen deadpanned.

The player on the field Sunday looked nothing like the one that had just three hits in his previous eight games and was hitting .204. The guy wearing No. 22 at Great American Ball Park on Sunday couldn't make an out at the plate (he did get caught stealing), finishing 3 for 3 with two walks and led off the game with his third home run of the season before knocking in the winning run in the eighth inning and corralling the final out for a Pirate victory.

"It was just a mater of time," McCutchen said. "All I could do is laugh about it, because that's not me, it's not what I do. All I could do is laugh, because I knew it was going to turn around eventually and now it's starting to turn around and I feel good and we'll go from here."

In the early season rollercoaster of averaging stats, Sunday's small sample sized helped McCutchen raise his batting averaged .046 points -- "I wish you could do that throughout the season, it'd be nice," he said.

The way math works, though, it can be just as devastating. McCutchen knows that, hitting .389/.500/.833 after his first five games and .204/.328/.367 after 13 games. After the 14th, he was back to .250/.381/.462.

"Time will tell, but it was an awful good day for him," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's been working hard and battling and believing in himself. Everything starts with a thought, no matter how bad the day, you always try to remember in this game you're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad as you think you are, and this kid's a good player."

McCutchen led off the game with a homer off of Reds starter Edinson Volquez and Jose Tabata then followed with another homer on the next pitch, marking just the third time in Pittsburgh history that Pirate batters have hit back-to-back homers to start a game.

"I smacked his hand, maybe that helped," McCutchen said. "Maybe it was electric energy or something."

That's exactly what McCutchen is for this Pirates team. He's electric -- if he's on, the team can be on.

The Pirates won three of their first five during his hot start, while they struggled when he saw his average drop from .389 to .196. In the team's six wins, he's hitting .320 with a .433 on-base percentage. The team has also won all three games in which he's homered. In a recent eight-game stretch that saw six losses, McCutchen was hitting just .097/.222/.097.

That leadoff home run on Sunday was just the burst of energy the Pirates needed, adding three more runs in the opening frame.

"A home run, a hit or getting on base with a  walk, whatever -- if I can start the game off by helping the team out by not making an out, it definitely makes me feel good about the coming at-bats," McCutchen said.

It also makes his team feel good about their chances.

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 12:48 pm

Pirates get a jump on spring, hold minicamp

For those counting down to the date pitchers and catchers report, the Pirates are way ahead of you.

Pittsburgh is currently hosting a minicamp at its spring training home in Bradenton, Fla. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel reports "three dozen or so" players worked out at Pirate City, with new manager Clint Hurdle working out with players and doing drills for "about three hours."

"It was a good day," Hurdle said. "It was efficient. We were able to get on the field, move them around a little bit, work on some technique and play a little defense. There was some on-field hitting. IT's good to get back on the field and hear the crack of the bat and the smack of the ball in the mitt."

It was also a chance for many of the players to get re-acquainted and new players -- like Lyle Overbay and Matt Diaz -- meeting their new teammates.

"That's the hardest part, because I'm terrible with names," Overbay said.

There will be little throwing at the camp, except for Kevin Hart, who will throw a bullpen for the first time since May, when he had surgery to repair a torn labrum. If it goes well, he expects to be ready for the real spring training.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 24, 2010 12:45 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2010 12:46 pm

Pirates complete coaching staff

New Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has filled out his coaching staff, adding Luis Silverio as first-base coach and Euclides Rojas as bullpen coach.

Silverio was a long-time employee of the Royals organization, serving as a minor-league coach and manager, major-league coach and most recently working in player development. Rojas is a former bullpen coach for the Red Sox and for the past six years has been a field coordinator for the Pirates.

They join four previously revealed coaches: Ray Searage (pitching), Jeff Banister (bench), Gregg Ritchie (hitting) and Nick Leyva (third base).

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 14, 2010 4:10 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2010 5:34 pm

Mets search down to two: Collins, Melvin

Despite Jose Oquendo interviewing for the Mets' manager's job tomorrow, it appears that the team is down to two -- Terry Collins and Bob Melvin, the New York Times reports .

Clint Hurdle interviewed for the job, but is apparently headed to Pittsburgh. Ken Oberkfell interviewed on Friday, but the Times writes "neither Oberkfell nor Oquendo are considered serious contenders for the job."

The Mets have also interviewed Chip Hale, Dave Jauss, Wally Backman, DeMarlo Hale and Don Wakamatsu.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 14, 2010 12:04 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2010 1:33 pm

Pirates to hire Clint Hurdle as manager

Hurdle The Pirates have tabbed Clint Hurdle as their new manager, ensuring that they wouldn't miss out on their second top choice as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The news conference will be held Monday morning, and Hurdle has signed a multiyear deal likely to be two or three years.

The Pirates have found the going rough in looking for a new manager, less than pleased with the options out there. They whiffed on their original choice when Eric Wedge grabbed the Mariners job.

That left the Pirates waiting until after the postseason when Hurdle could speak to the club after serving as hitting coach for Texas for one year. Prior to that, he managed the Rockies from near the beginning of 2002 to almost halfway through the 2009 season when he was fired in favor for Jim Tracy.

Hurdle was also in the running for the Mets job, but it looks as if the job there is down to Terry Collins and Bob Melvin. Hurdle may still yet have had a real shot at the New York job, but Pittsburgh was being very aggressive in its pursuit of Hurdle, plus Hurdle had his own reasons for choosing Pittsburgh.

As the Beaver County Times notes, his eight-year-old daughter, Madison, has a disease that causes low muscle tone, short stature and ravenous hunger that can lead to obesity. Termed Prader-Willi Syndrome, a provider of care for those afflicted resides in Pittsburgh called The Children's Institute that can help Hurdle's daughter.

Personal reasons aside, Hurdle makes a lot of sense for Pittsburgh. He's overseen a rebuilding effort in Colorado and had five straight losing seasons in the Rockies with his worst season coming in his fourth year, finishing with a 67-95 record. He also oversaw the Rocktober year of 2007, when the surging Rockies made the World Series only to fall to the Red Sox.

The team dipped below .500 again in 2008, then got off to an 18-28 start in 2009 before the move was made to hire Jim Tracy as skipper and Rocktober v. 2 took place. Despite that less-than-stellar overall body of work, Hurdle is widely respected and is credited for the Rockies' rise to prominence. Pittsburgh sorely needed a manager who had name value, has led a team to a World Series and who brings credibility to the club.

Hurdle moved to Texas to take over for icon Rudy Jaramillo as the hitting coach and received accolades for his work. However, Texas playing deep into October may have hurt his chances with other ballclubs who did not want to wait around to find a new manager. That left Pittsburgh and New York as his only options.

Now we know which one he chose, and he'll have a tough road on his hands. Despite a new GM (Neal Huntington) and president (Frank Coonelly) who seem to be on top of things, the Pirates' futility has only gotten worse. In its 18th year of losing, Pittsburgh suffered its worst year, falling to a 57-105 record as its attempted new rebuilding plan fell far short of expectations.

The youth movement is still in full swing, but it will be incumbent on Hurdle to maximize the returns out of younger players and somehow bring some salvation to a starved fanbase who have long passed the point of jaded apathy.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: November 13, 2010 9:21 pm

Report: Mets could be down to Collins, Melvin

The New York Times reports that Terry Collins and Bob Melvin are getting second interviews for the Mets managerial job, and that those could be the only invitations extended.

Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle is another candidate the Mets like, but he's reported to be the top choice for the only other remaining opening, in Pittsburgh. A report Saturday said the Pirates are pushing to get that deal done, and at this point a sure thing with the Pirates might look better to Hurdle than a 1-in-3 shot with the Mets.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson interviewed Triple-A manager Ken Oberkfell on Saturday and is scheduled to meet with Cardinals bench coach Jose Oquendo on Monday, but neither of those appear to be serious candidates. Five other candidates were interviewed but are thought to have been eliminated.

It should be interesting to see which way the Mets would go between Collins and Melvin, who have very different styles. Melvin is an analytical type who seems to fit the mold of Alderson and his recent front-office hires, but Collins, named in several reports as the front-runner, has a fiery personality that might suit the current Mets team better.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 12, 2010 2:17 pm

Mets narrowing manager search

Terry Collins, Clint Hurdle and Bob Melvin are the Mets' "leading candidates" for their open managerial position, ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin reports .

Rubin says current third-base coach Chip Hale could be called back for another interview, while Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo could get an interview.

Hurdle has also interviewed for the still-vacant Pirates job, and appears to be the favorite there.

The Mets have already interviewed Dave Jauss, Don Wakamatsu, DeMarlo Hale and Wally Backman.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 9, 2010 11:02 pm

Backman to get another interview

Former Mets second baseman Wally Backman will get a second interview for the team's open managerial position, the Record reports .

Backman, who was the manager of the New York-Penn League Brooklyn Cyclones last season, was one of five internal candidates the Mets have already interviewed. Chip Hale, Terry Collins, Bob Melvin and Dave Jauss were the first group to interview with the team.

On Tuesday, the team met with DeMarlo Hale and will meet Clint Hurdle and Don Wakamatsu. General manager Sandy Alderson said the team will also talk to Ken Oberkfell, the manager of the Mets' Triple-A affiliate, either Thursday or Friday in the Dominican Republic, where he is managing a winter league team. Alderson added there may be addition candidates interviewed this weekend.

"I have been very pleased with the conversations," Alderson said. "As far as a timetable is concerned, we certainly want to have a manager by the winter meetings. It would be helpful to have it done by the end of the month and a logical deadline is Thanksgiving. I'm not sure we're going to make that."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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