Clint Hurdle doesn’t like to use the phrase “reclamation project” when discussing players whose careers the Pirates have turned around in the past few years. He sees the men in his clubhouse as humans first, and players after that.
So, for him, to call a player a “reclamation project” as if he was a piece of furniture salvaged from a trash dump to be renovated and added to a living room just doesn’t make sense.
Rather, the more appropriate phrase in the clubhouse is a “bounce-back” candidate, a work that holds an implication of future success after a stretch of adversity. And many of the Pirates have bounced back.
The first high-profile bounce-backer was A.J. Burnett, who rebounded from rough seasons pitching in the American League to serve as the Pirates ace for the last two seasons before taking his talents to Philadelphia. Francisco Liriano followed Burnett to Pittsburgh a year later, and was named the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year.
Nate covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects and is the Publisher of Panther Digest, covering Pitt athletics. He also serves as About.com's College Basketball Expert. You can find Nate on Twitter at @NateBarnes_