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Hurdle's platoons won't be 'cookie-cutter'

PITTSBURGH -- Clint Hurdle has a tandem of players available for both first base and right field, and says neither position will be handled as "a cookie-cutter platoon."

By that, the Pirates manager means he will not be altering his lineups based on whether the opposing pitcher is right- or left-handed, but according to matchups.

Hurdle calls it "projectable analysis."

Gaby Sanchez and Jose Tabata call it "good," because left-handers on the Bucs' horizon are as rare.

The Pirates will not face a southpaw until Game 9 when, per the Cubs' current rotation, Travis Wood would start against them in the final game of next week's series in Chicago. If manager Rick Renteria adjusts his rotation and the Pirates miss Wood, they would not have another chance to come across a lefty until reaching Cincinnati in mid-month; Tony Cingrani is now in the Reds' rotation.

Because of the general dearth of left-handed starters in the NL Central, recent Pirates teams have seen few of them. In 2013, for instance, lefties started less than 20 percent of the games (31 of 162) against the Bucs.

Despite the quick turnaround from Wednesday-Thursday's 16-inning game, Pittsburgh's lineup for the matinee against the Cubs remained a Travis-ty: Travis Ishikawa was back at first base, Travis Snider in right field.

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
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