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.