Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Hurdle has complete faith in relief corps

Hurdle has complete faith in relief corps play video for Hurdle has complete faith in relief corps

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates haven't yet settled on who will make the Opening Day bullpen or who will play which roles. They have a few pieces set, plenty of contenders -- some of them out of Minor League options -- and a lot of strong Spring Training performances to consider.

Regardless of the uncertainty, manager Clint Hurdle is confident that his relief corps will put together another strong season. In 2013, Pittsburgh's relievers compiled a 2.89 ERA, the third lowest in the Majors, in 545 2/3 innings, the fourth-most.

"It's an important part of what you do. That's one of the toughest challenges you have, is when games get away late," Hurdle said. "You go six, seven, eight innings and have a lead, and then you don't finish it off. That's part of the dynamic of baseball, and you'll see this year that there will be four or five closers that will go through that, and people will be throwing their hands up in the air and screaming and yelling and shouting how it's a violation.

"Well, we feel confident in the men that we have. They are human beings, and any one of them could go through a stretch where it's challenging. We do believe the overall skill set's going to play out, though, when you talk about the context of a season and the men that we have out there with capable skill sets that can attack you a bunch of different ways, depending on how long our starter goes.

"And we don't feel like we're out of a game if our starter gets knocked out early by any means, with the depth and the length that we have available as well."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español