Pirates notebook: Clint Hurdle calls Joe Torre's visit 'very informative'
BRADENTON, Fla. — MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre had what Pirates manager Clint Hurdle called a "very informative" visit Monday to discuss discipline and rules changes.
"We covered a lot of ground, from replay, rule languages, different language of the rules and some rewriting of the rule book," Hurdle said. "We also talked about mound visits. We covered a lot of ground, and we're still working through it."
Perhaps most prominent is the punishment for violating the limit of six mound visits per nine-inning game.
Hurdle said it will cause the pitcher to be taken out of the game. If a player attempts to visit the mound, he will be stopped. If he chooses to go, he could be ejected.
"You won't lose your pitcher," Hurdle said. "You'll lose your player."
Although he received answers to some of his questions — such as injuries to pitchers and pitching changes not counting as visits — Hurdle declined to share his concerns because "it's not a finished product yet," and he wants to wait for more information.
"They've tried to tighten this up to the best of their ability," Hurdle said. "There's a lot more people involved. It's the Players Association. It's the umpires. And it's Major League Baseball. So, you've got three parties working for good."
Off to a good start
The Pirates used their top two starters in a 13-2 loss to the Boston Red at LECOM Park, and Ivan Nova and Jameson Taillon were pleased with how they pitched depsite not having good bullpens.
Nova got the start and allowed three hits and three runs (one earned) in two innings, giving up a two-run homer to Rusney Castillo after a David Freese throwing error.
"I was impressed with my command," said Nova, who worked on his changeup in the first inning and curveball in the second. "The one I threw in the bullpen was not very good. That's why I say I was a little impressed, because I was able to pick it up in the game and execute it the way it's supposed to."
Taillon also pitched two innings, retiring the side in the third and allowing a Blake Swihart single before striking out the last three batters of the fourth.
"I felt crisp, felt like the ball's coming out good," Taillon said. "I feel definitely that I'm ahead of where I was at last year, strength-wise, command-wise I'm in a good place."
"I wasn't so sure in the bullpen before, at least to my standards. I felt like I was bouncing it or hanging it. Sometimes what happens in the 'pen stays there because when you get out to the game the adrenaline kind of picks up your arm speed and helps you get back on track."
For the kids
Sean Rodriguez had a special day, as his cousin Adolfo Perez visited with his sons, Sean Santos, 10, and Logan Perez, 7, who stretched with Pirates players.
Logan even took some good-natured ribbing for wearing his Red Sox hat and jersey.
"I told him, 'As long as you're a fan of baseball, it's good and it's OK because they're in the American League so I won't get too mad.'" said Rodriguez, who homered in the second. "To be able to share it with them, it's a blessing beyond words."
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.