PITTSBURGH -- If the Pirates are any closer to naming a closer for the 2011 season, the club isn't letting on. The only thing that is certain is that Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek will not be in direct competition for the role in Spring Training.
"The best answer that I can give you is that we haven't spent a ton of time identifying who it's going to be," Huntington said when asked about the evaluation process. "In talking with [manager] Clint [Hurdle] and with [pitching coach] Ray [Searage], in a perfect role, we'd probably identify one. That's still not 100 percent."
Even if the Pirates don't officially name a closer before the start of camp, the decision will not hinge on Spring Training performances.
"To put a closer role up for grabs in Spring Training is just not something we're going to do," Huntington said. "It's impossible to evenly match Spring Training competition among pitchers."
Ohlendorf, Bucs hoping to avoid arbitration
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates and Ross Ohlendorf remain headed for an arbitration hearing unless the two sides can come to an independent agreement on how much Ohlendorf will make in 2011. Hearings begin Tuesday and run through the 18th.
The two sides exchanged figures on Jan. 18, but neither the Pirates, nor Ohlendorf, are saying much about how negotiations have continued since then. Pittsburgh's offer of $1.4 million was countered by Ohlendorf's request for a $2.025 million salary.
An arbiter will decide between those two numbers next month if the Bucs and Ohlendorf, who is arbitration-eligible for the first time, cannot meet somewhere in the middle on their own.
"Both sides of the table are hopeful of finding a solution without going to a hearing," general manager Neal Huntington said on Friday. "But both sides are fully prepared to go to a hearing if that's the only way to find a resolution. That's not an ideal ending, and I think both sides are fully aware of the ramifications if we had to go there."
The last time the Pirates had an arbitration hearing was with Jack Wilson in 2004.
'5K Home Run' race to benefit Pirates Charities
PITTSBURGH -- On Friday, the Pirates revealed plans for the inaugural "Pittsburgh Pirates 5K Home Run" race, which will be held on April 9. Money raised from the event will benefit Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pirates.
In addition to the 5K race, which will begin outside PNC Park on Federal Street at 8 a.m. ET, there will be a one-mile family fun run starting 15 minutes later. Participants can register individually or as teams of four.
Highlighting the 5K race will be the chance for runners/walkers to finish the race at home plate inside PNC Park. All participants of both races will also receive a commemorative T-shirt and a ticket voucher good for a ticket to a Pirates game against the Rockies on April 9 or 10.
To get more information about the event or to register, go to pirates.com/5khomerun.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.