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Clint Hurdle has considered moving Juan Nicasio into the closer’s role


Pirates closer Tony Watson blew another save chance on Wednesday, surrendering a game-tying two-run home run to Trey Mancini with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in Baltimore. He also blew the save on Tuesday and overall has blown five save chances in 15 opportunities this season.

The Pirates head back to open a four-game set at home against the Marlins on Thursday, part of a 10-game homestand. Manager Clint Hurdle said, “We’ll have an opportunity to discuss some things on the way back (to Pittsburgh). We’ve got to assess who’s available (Thursday) as well. So that will be a thought,” Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Hurdle also said the idea of moving Juan Nicasio into the closer’s role “was given some serious thought.” For now, it sounds like Watson will be given a chance to work through his issues, though.

Nicasio, 30, owns a 1.35 ERA with a 25/8 K/BB ratio in 26 2/3 innings this season.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.