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Pregame: Hurdle applauds the fans, gets heckled for contact play

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Notes from this afternoon's press scrum:

Wandy update

The Pirates have reached out to Dr. James Andrews about how to move forward with Rodriguez. They have not received a report back from the doctor.

Marte update

Starling Marte experienced some "slight discomfort" following yesterday's simulated game. Hurdle said that Marte would take batting practice today and go "as aggressively as he can."

Starting rotation written "down in pencil"

Hurdle said that he and his staff are thinking through a lot of different options when it comes to setting the rotation for the rest of the season:

We're writing everything down in pencil right now. There was some dependence of Locke's performance last night. That's probably given us better direction. We'll see if Charlie is able to push through his start. There will give us some information. We're working through a couple different scenarios ... Each day can add some new information.

Hurdle applauds the fans

Hurdle described the ovation the team received as it took the field last night as "really cool, very thankful."

As much as they applauded us, I was applauding them (the fans). I think our players were applauding them, as well. It was not taken for granted. Greatly appreciated.

Mercer's defense has improved under Barmes' tutelage

Jordy Mercer made a fine defensive play last night which, according to Hurdle, was the direct result of being a "good student" and learning an "incredible amount" from Clint Barmes.

You saw him make play last night that he's actually learned from Barmes. You take the angle, you cut that ball off and you throw across your body. I've seen Barmes do that for years and Jordy has carbon copied it now.

Here is a link to video of the play.

Justin Wilson still limited to one inning per game / no back-to-back appearances

Asked about Wilson's usage the rest of the season, Hurdle said:

All you have to do is look at the game sequences. He's pitched one inning. He hasn't pitched back-to-back days and he's pitched one inning. So I think it's pretty self-explanatory.

Hurdle is being heckled over his use of the contact play

Hurdle was asked about the team's bad luck when it comes to running the contact play this season. I'll have more on this topic in the coming days but, while discussing the tactics that go into the decision, Hurdle shared a rather humorous anecdote about a heckler in the stands:

Trust me, you hear it (if it doesn't work). There is one guy just wearing out up there. He just can't believe we keep running this play (laughter). I hear it up there (pointing) than over there (pointing) about every Friday. Calls it the "stupidest play in baseball!"