Hurdle Talks Bullpen Usage; Clint Hurdle Has Gotten a First-Hand Look at Some New-Age Bullpen Usage This Week. While It's Fair to Say the Pirates Manager Seems Intrigued by That Style, He's Not Necessarily Eager to Adopt It. [Derived Headline]

By Adamski, Chris | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 12, 2017 | Go to article overview

Hurdle Talks Bullpen Usage; Clint Hurdle Has Gotten a First-Hand Look at Some New-Age Bullpen Usage This Week. While It's Fair to Say the Pirates Manager Seems Intrigued by That Style, He's Not Necessarily Eager to Adopt It. [Derived Headline]


Adamski, Chris, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Clint Hurdle has gotten a first-hand look at some new-age bullpen usage this week. While it's fair to say the Pirates manager seems intrigued by that style, he's not necessarily eager to adopt it.

"I'm probably not going to pick up the paper every day and look how (Cincinnati Reds manager) Bryan Price is working his bullpen or who pitches what," Hurdle said Wednesday.

Price on Monday used one of his highest-leverage relievers, Michael Lorenzen, in the third inning -- because it was one of the games highest-leverage moments (bases loaded, nobody out). It worked: Lorenzen escaped without allowing a run.

Price has been open about utilizing such non-traditional bullpen tactics as asking "closer" Raisel Iglesias to pitch two innings -- and then using Lorenzen as something of a "1A" closer.

Hurdle is aware of those tendencies, insofar as he prepares for them as the manager of the opposition. But he agrees with Price that the Reds' personnel (mainly a bunch of young and inexperienced hard-throwing arms) is a good fit for instituting that strategy.

In other words, don't expect the Pirates to start using closer Tony Watson in, say, the fourth inning -- even if the situation might be a potential turning point in a game.

"In a perfect world, it sets up and it make sense," Hurdle said.

But Hurdle likes to talk about "human analytics." And he has some veteran pitchers (Watson, Daniel Hudson and Antonio Bastardo among them) who are accustomed to certain defined roles and the routine of executing them.

Also, Hurdle suggested it wouldn't be fair to, say, Watson to ask him to sacrifice potential saves when he's bound for unrestricted free agency this winter and the marketplace has traditionally placed a financial premium for established ninth-inning men.

"(The Reds) have got young guys that are hungry and just looking for opportunities to pitch," Hurdle said. "They really don't have routines to fall into or roles to fall into or successes to fall back on (in their past).

"We will see how it works out, but I think I like the idea. I like that they are being creative."

No Polanco on Wednesday

Facing left-handed starters on consecutive days likely would have signaled an ideal time for a Gregory Polanco day off, regardless. …

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Hurdle Talks Bullpen Usage; Clint Hurdle Has Gotten a First-Hand Look at Some New-Age Bullpen Usage This Week. While It's Fair to Say the Pirates Manager Seems Intrigued by That Style, He's Not Necessarily Eager to Adopt It. [Derived Headline]
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