Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said acquiring outfielder Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the New York Mets is a very positive message for the second place Pirates. Hurdle told Jim Rome on his radio program the veterans are optimistic and excited about joining a team in the playoff race and will provide help in two specific areas.
“A bat we can hit in the middle of the order,” Hurdle said of Byrd and added: “Also, a veteran catcher (Buck). We were an injury away; if (Russell) Martin or (Tony) Sanchez went down, we were going to be very thin from that. So this adds a veteran signal caller, a guy you’re going to entrust behind the game to handle your pitching staff.”
Hurdle also raved to Rome about 3-time All-Star outfielder, and MVP candidate, Andrew McCutchen.
“He’s the baddest guy in the league,” the manager said. “He can beat you with his glove, he can beat you with the legs, he can beat you with the bat, he can beat you by beating a ball down the first base line. He’s got multiple tools, multiple talents. He plays hard every single day, he leads by example.”
The race for NL MVP may come down to McCutchen and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. If it’s a battle between an everyday player and a starting pitcher, Hurdle knows who’d get his vote.
“I’m in the mindset (that starting pitchers) should be in the mix,” Hurdle said. “Then it’s just a fine line for the people that vote for a guy who takes the ball 35 times. Is that impactful enough for you versus a guy who goes to the post 155 times? I’m on the side that the guy goes out there 155 times. That’s where my vote would lie.”