Clint Hurdle
Getty Images

Pirates fire Clint Hurdle

5 Comments

The Pirates have fired manager Clint Hurdle, according to an official statement made Sunday. General manager Neal Huntington is expected to remain with the club in 2020, with the supporting staff to be decided by the Pirates’ next manager.

Recent reports indicated that Hurdle would finish out his contract with the club through 2021, but the Pirates’ disappointing finish to their 2019 campaign made it difficult for upper management to justify that kind of decision. After playing through a season that saw numerous injuries and explosive on-field and clubhouse incidents, the team is guaranteed to finish last in the NL Central for the first time since Hurdle took the reins in 2011.

Still, Hurdle’s struggles with the club haven’t wholly eclipsed his accomplishments. He finished his nine-year run with a 735-720-1 record and guided the Pirates through four winning seasons and three consecutive postseason appearances. He’s also the fourth-winningest manager in Pirates history, trailing Fred Clarke (1900-1915 with 1,422 wins), Danny Murtaugh (1958-1964, 1970-1971, 1974-1976, 1,115 wins), and Jim Leyland (1986-1996, 851 wins).

Words cannot express how much respect and appreciation I have for Clint as a person and a leader,” Huntington said in a statement released by the Pirates. “He was the right person at the right time to take on the enormous challenge of leading our Major League team out of an extended losing streak and piloting us to three straight Postseason appearances. We will be forever grateful for his dedication to the Pirates organization on and off the field. This was an extremely difficult decision for us. As an organization, we believe it was time for a managerial change to introduce a new voice and new leadership inside the clubhouse.

This has been a challenging season on many levels. We are committed to assessing and improving upon our operations at all levels in order to return Postseason baseball to Pittsburgh.

Pirates bench coach Tom Prince will manage Sunday’s game against the Reds.

Trea Turner undergoes surgery on right index finger

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.

Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.

Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.