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Pregame: Pirates to make decision on Starling Marte soon

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Marte update

Starling Marte worked out this afternoon to "see what he can do," Clint Hurdle said. The Pirates manager noted that the team was reaching a "crossroads" where a decision needed to be made about whether to put the left fielder on the disabled list.

All options on the table

With Josh Harrison likely out for at least seven weeks, Hurdle said that the team will have "conversations" about how to proceed in terms of making adjustments to the roster.

"You look at your internal options," Hurdle said. "It's the time of the year that there are other options to look at and consider, whether it be the waiver wire or an aggressive early opportunity to add."


Tonight's starter, Jeff Locke, has been very good over his last five starts.

Starts ERA OPS-against GB/FB Ratio Average Game Score
First 11 Starts 5.37 .787 1.14 46
Last 5 Starts 1.55 .543 1.67 59

Over the last 30 days, he's posted the seventh-best ERA and groundball rate among qualified starters.

Neither team will be playing "harder" ... Obviously

Hurdle is aware of how excited and "engaged" Pirates fans are for this series. But he spent most of his afternoon press meeting reminding the media that the excitement surrounding this series is treated as just a lot of external "noise" by the players and coaches in the clubhouse.

"They want us to win and they want me to make sure I understand the importance of winning," Hurdle deadpanned. "I try to tell them, ‘You know, I've been doing this a little bit. I think I have a feel for it.' It's fun."

Hurdle and Mike Matheny struck a similar tone when asked about the importance of this series.

"You expect us to play harder tonight because we're playing the Cardinals?" Hurdle asked. "We're just going to go out and play tonight. This is the most important game we get to play all day. That's what we've been doing and that's the mentality of those guys out there."

Matheny just looks at it as another game on the schedule.

"I get it, from the outside and from [the fantbases] who want to make a big deal out of it," Matheny said. "If we are bringing more energy and excitement and more to the field for this series, shame on us and people should get a refund for the games they showed up for and we didn't give it everything we got."

A make believe important call

During an afternoon in which little news was made, there was a humorous moment worth sharing. Midway through the press scrum Hurdle's phone started to buzz with an incoming call. He paused and turned around to switch the phone off. A media member commented, "Is it Barack [Obama], again?"

"Again!" Hurdle said with faux exasperation. "He's got to leave me alone."

Then, after a long pause, Hurdle half-grinned and with playful sarcasm said, "It's a big series."