Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hurdle Likes Progress He Sees from Pimentel Pirates Notebook

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hurdle Likes Progress He Sees from Pimentel Pirates Notebook

Article excerpt

Stolmy Pimentel has put together two sharp and lengthy relief outings for the Pirates since returning from the disabled list June 11, including four shutout innings Saturday that included seven strikeouts.

That's encouraging for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who said Pimentel is in line to be considered as starting depth in 2015.

"You've got coaches out there working him every day, letting him know the importance of the job that he does have and to nail the job that he does have," Hurdle said. "This is what you have now. It's a hard place to be for a young pitcher. There's nine days down in between opportunities and both of them are lights out. They're impressive. It's efficient, quality work both times he took the ball."

The signs have been there since he made the club out of spring training.

"In and of itself, the numbers, there wasn't a body of work [in spring training] that said wow," Hurdle said. "What we saw in September was encouraging. We were in a race, the games were meaningful. You try to focus on what he's doing, the environment that he's in. But is he following the mitt? Is the velocity there? Is there tilt to the breaking ball? Is there command to his pitches? That's what we continue to see."

CHANGES IN THE OUTFIELD

Starling Marte returned to the lineup after jamming his right middle finger last week.

Before the game, Hurdle said the club was still evaluating if Marte was ready for a full game.

"The deciding factor is the swing. The force of the swing," Hurdle said.

Marte started in center field, which gave Andrew McCutchen the day off to rest. Hurdle mentioned earlier in the series he would plan an extra day off around the team's off day today.

Hurdle said he will look to give Gregory Polanco a day off Tuesday.

"He's been out there, been through a lot," Hurdle said. "A lot of energy had to be spent, not just on the field but with all the other demands. …

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