Hurdle’s message: “All in”


BRADENTON, Fla. — Manager Clint Hurdle spoke this morning during a team meeting before the first official full-squad workout. Hurdle delivered a simple message.

“We need to focus forward,” Hurdle said. “We have work to do. We need everybody all in. We talked about trust; that’s something I’m a big believer in. There will be a group of men that turns it around here, so why can ‘t we be the start?”

President Frank Coonelly did not address the players at the meeting. Owner Bob Nutting will visit camp until next week.

»»» Fourteen pitchers threw live batting practice. On Field 1, Joel Hanrahan and Paul Maholm pitched to Lyle Overbay and Pedro Alvarez. On Field 2, Even Meek and Kevin Correia pitched to Garrett Jones and Neil Walker. Also throwing were Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras, James McDonald, Joe Beimel, Aaron Thompson, Kyle McPherson, Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke, Mike Crotta and Rudy Owens.

»»» During fielding practice on Field 2, Overbay and Garrett Atkins were at first base, Walker at second, Ronny Cedeno and Pedro Ciriaco at short and Alvarez at third.

»»» Situational hitting drills continue to be emphasized. Hurdle is pleased with the focus he’s seen from the players, even when the visible results aren’t great.

“It’s a new process for them,” Hurdle said. “If you want to go somewhere you’ve never been, there’s got to be somebody who asks you do to things you’ve never done. I’m asking them to do some things they might’ve never done. It’s not so much about results daily as the preparation that’s put in and the focus in the drill. Some of the guys haven’t (done) well in the drills and they take it personally. But they understand the reason behind it.”

»»» The Columbus (Ga.) High School baseball team shagged flies in the outfields today and will do so again Sunday. Pirates scout Jimmy Lester has a son on the team, which last year won the state title. The team is in town for a clinic and is staying in the dorms at Pirate City.

The Manatee County adult baseball league will shag Tuesday. Manatee High School’s baseball team will shag Wednesday.

»»» Thursday will be a short workout (the players have a golf event in the afternoon) and the final session at Pirate City. Friday, the team moves to McKechnie Field and will play a seven-inning game at noon against the State College of Florida.

“We’ll have a mix of players in (the lineup), but it probably will be leaning toward some of the younger guys,” Hurdle said.