PITTSBURGH -- If the Pirates are any closer to naming a closer for the 2011 season, the club isn't letting on. The only thing that is certain is that Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek will not be in direct competition for the role in Spring Training.
"The best answer that I can give you is that we haven't spent a ton of time identifying who it's going to be," Huntington said when asked about the evaluation process. "In talking with [manager] Clint [Hurdle] and with [pitching coach] Ray [Searage], in a perfect role, we'd probably identify one. That's still not 100 percent."
Even if the Pirates don't officially name a closer before the start of camp, the decision will not hinge on Spring Training performances.
"To put a closer role up for grabs in Spring Training is just not something we're going to do," Huntington said. "It's impossible to evenly match Spring Training competition among pitchers."