Pirates notebook: No word as Hurdle and Huntington enter final year of contract
BRADENTON, Fla. — With manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington in the final year of their contracts, chairman Bob Nutting on Monday declined to comment on how much longer they'll be with the team.
Hurdle and Huntington each received a three-year extension in April 2014. Those deals include a club option for 2018.
“Neal and Clint are both really strong, really good,” Nutting said. “I'm very comfortable with them. I think they're very comfortable with us and the organization. The contract extension is not something that's top-of-mind for me. It's not an issue at this point. But they are tremendous talents.”
Hurdle was asked if the considered his contract to be a back-burner issue.
“I don't even have a burner,” Hurdle said. “I like where I'm at. I like the organization. I'm humbled to get the opportunity to do it. It'll get figured out.”
Tom Prince, who many industry insiders expect to be Hurdle's successor, was promoted to bench coach this season.
Cervelli on mend
Francisco Cervelli said pain in the bottom of his right foot has kept him from working out the past two days, but he plans to be back in action Tuesday.
“I don't know what I did to it,” Cervelli said. “There was some pain, so I came inside (on Sunday) and Todd (Tomczyk, head athletic trainer) said, ‘It's too early for this.' ”
Cervelli said there is no blister, just pain and discomfort. Previously, he wore two kinds of inserts in his shoes — a support insert in his left shoe and a basic cushy insert in the right. Now, he'll switch to a more therapeutic insert for his right foot.
Plan for Kang
Nutting declined to say if Jung Ho Kang, who is facing trial Wednesday for his third DUI arrest in South Korea, will be disciplined by the Pirates when he rejoins the team.
“We are absolutely disappointed that he has put himself and the organization in this circumstance,” Nutting said.
Nutting said the Pirates will aid Kang through the club's development system, which includes Pirates Charities and leadership programs.
“We're trying to develop character,” Nutting said.
“We're trying to develop community commitment. I think, frankly, we'll be well positioned to help Jung Ho get back on his feet, get himself re-established, be in a community that will support him, and at the same time we will hold high level of expectation and demands on him.”
Around the horn
In Monday's workouts, Alen Hanson took ground balls exclusively at third base as Hurdle looked on. … John Jaso took balls at third base and in the outfield. … Josh Bell (knee) fielded grounders on the half-field behind Field 1. For the third straight day, Bell took overhand, coach-pitch batting practice in the indoor batting cage. He has not yet taken swings outside or faced live pitching. … Live batting practice will resume Tuesday. Gerrit Cole, Ivan Nova, Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow are slated to throw two innings each (40 pitches maximum). Relievers Jared Hughes and Wade LeBlanc also are scheduled for two innings apiece.