Today saw the arrival of a few more players, including Corey Hart, who spent time working at first base and shagging fly balls in the outfield. Clint Hurdle held his daily meeting with the media, and I asked him about Hart’s knee issues and how that would restrict him from the outfield. Hurdle said that Hart probably won’t get the workload in the outfield that he used to get, but that they’re comfortable playing him in the outfield.

“His pace of play and his ability for volume of work out there that was in the past, that might not be where we want to go with it right now,” Hurdle said. “I think we need to maintain the physicality that he’s got right now. He feels good. He feels healthy. He’s re-energized.”

As for how that would impact Andrew Lambo’s split between first base and right field, Hurdle said that the team would keep him working at both positions to add at-bats during the season.

“You’ve got to prepare also to have a Plan B for every player. Then if somebody goes down, it could also be a situation where he is a bigger part at first base.”

When asked if they were going with a platoon at first base, Hurdle said he didn’t want to use the platoon label this early. He did mention that Hart really drew their attention due to what he has done against the team in the past. It sounds like Hart will get plenty of time off the bench.

**MLB announced the Pace of Play rule changes yesterday, and Hurdle had a chance to look over the new changes. He didn’t offer much opinion on the specific rules, but did talk about the balance between speeding up the game and keeping the game the same. “We’re all for keeping the game interesting, and keeping it the game that it needs to be as well, and I think that’s everyone’s best interest moving forward.”

**Hurdle said that he liked how Antonio Bastardo has some velocity, good breaking stuff, and can get some strikeouts. “He gives us another added dimension out there that is different from the other six guys in the bullpen.” Hurdle also pointed out how Bastardo has pitched in a hitter friendly park through his career as a fly ball pitcher, and still posted good numbers.

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  1. “How Comfortable Are the Pirates With Corey Hart’s Knees?” I think this is my favorite headline ever on this site.

  2. I don’t think the knees will be as bad as we all want to make it out to be. Now, dont get me wrong, he is not 22 years old and fresh out of AAA, but i do think it will not be the gloom we are dreading. His surgery is proven to be a yr long rehabilitation process. The R knee was a meniscus tear, which can be treated and rehabbed easily (been there myself and had numerous players go thru and rehab it). I think the Brewers mismanaged his rehab on the knee which caused the extra stress and pressure which led to the injury to the L knee. I think we could see a 15-18HR year for him in limited ABs…(wouldn’t it be nice to have some Craig Wilson production from our backup 1B/RF??) which will help get him one last multi year contract in his age 33 season.

  3. I have zero faith in Hart’s knees holding up. However, I think he could have a decent season if they do. Lambo won’t do anything, not sure why people still can’t realize he’s not a good Major League hitter. Need Pedro to be healthy, and produce at 1B. Badly.

    • I dont understand how you can say that Lambo is not a good major league hitter. The guy has less than 100 at bats at the major league level. Let’s get him 300 AB’s then see what we’ve got.

      • Even 300 won’t do it….he would need a regular gig…maybe after this year? I don’t see Pedro on this team after this year.

        • I hope they give him the chance. He’s done all he can do in AAA. Its time to see if he’s a big leaguer or not. If not for a bad spring last year we may have seen.

        • Lee: I hope you are right about Pedro not being in Pittsburgh in 2016, because that would mean he improved his value in 2015 and the Pirates got the most they could in a trade. The guy has AL 1B/3B/DH written all over him & Boras as an agent.

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