BRADENTON — After finishing their workouts at Pirate City on Thursday afternoon, the Pirates players packed up their lockers in the clubhouse for their final day at the facility before moving over to McKechnie Field for the remainder of Spring Training. The club wrapped up two weeks of Spring Training by leaving a good impression on their Manager Clint Hurdle.
Hurdle mentioned several takeaways from the camp this year — the conditioning, mental conditioning, the execution and the energy of the effort.
“The attitude and effort showed up everyday,“ Hurdle said. “Only the player can bring his individual attitude, his individual effort, and then aim that towards the collective gain for the group. And I saw that.”
On Friday, the Pirates will play a black vs. gold inter-squad game at McKechnie Field at noon before kicking off the Grapefruit League with their first official spring training game at Dunedin against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
“The work we did was extensive,“ Hurdle said. “We spent a lot of time on the field. There weren’t many short days, other than the days instructed to be short, to give them a blow, get them off the leg early. There were days that were stretched out to get their legs underneath them for a longer time. I’m very happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish here at Pirate City.”
Pirate City now becomes the primary field for the Bucs minor leaguers Spring Training camp. However, the players with the big league club will workout at Pirate City on days they are not on the daily game roster.
Now, two weeks into spring training, Hurdle said he has clearer sense on the teams offensive identity this season.
“There’s no doubt about that,“ Hurdle said. “We’ve touched on it. We talked about it. Obviously now the games are going to heighten the awareness, better ownership with your bats, being comfortable, being uncomfortable, a better approach with two strikes, more consistency in situational opportunities. And that gears them into base running, aggressive mind set, a smart mind set, seeing pitches, hitting what you want to hit. All those things have been talked about and then put into play. I do see a lot of adjustments that have been made foundationally from a number of individuals this spring.”
“We have a good plan going in. We’re going to try and capitalize on the guys that we’ve got that can run. I do feel our lineup will have more strength from top to bottom then what we had last year.”