MILWAUKEE -- General manager Neal Huntington said that members of Clint Hurdle's coaching staff will be informed shortly after the season ends whether or not they will be retained beyond this year. There are not expected to be numerous changes, if any, when that announcement comes.
One of the reasons for the delay in announcing evaluations of the Major League staff is that Huntington's time has recently been devoted to reshuffling particular areas of the front office. Also, the lateness of Huntington's own contract extension -- it wasn't announced until Sept. 11 -- has affected the timeline of end-of-season assessments.
"We have talked to our Major League staff and told them that we will get to them as soon after the end of the season as we possibly can," Huntington said. "Overall, I'm pleased with the job that they have done. They have answered some substantial challenges. They have each impacted a number of players in a very positive direction. They have worked together as a very positive group. Yes, very, very pleased."
Four of the eight members of Hurdle's staff are wrapping up their first year in the organization. Nick Leyva, Luis Silverio, Euclides Rojas and Mark Strittmatter were all brought in from elsewhere last winter.
The other four -- Jeff Banister, Gregg Ritchie, Ray Searage and Heberto Andrade -- were already working in the organization, in some capacity, when Hurdle named them to his staff.
"I'm very pleased with the job the coaches have done," Hurdle said recently. "I think there has been growth all over the board."
After finishing last in team ERA, team batting average and team fielding percentage in 2010, the Pirates have shown improvement in all three areas this year. The most drastic improvement has come on the pitching end. The club enters the final three games of the season with a 3.98 ERA after posting a 5.00 mark in 2010.
Andrew McCutchen was scratched from Monday's lineup after being struck in the lower abdomen by a batted ball during batting practice. The injury is not expected to keep McCutchen out for the entire series. McCutchen has now started 153 of the team's 160 games this year.
Ryan Doumit remained out of the lineup on Monday and was unavailable to pinch-hit. He continues to deal with the effects of being knocked in the mask on a foul tip on Friday. He could still make an appearance before the end of the season.
As part of the restructuring the Pirates have done with their professional scouting department, Larry Corrigan, a special assistant to general manager Neal Huntington, will not be returning next season. Pete Vuckovich, another special assistant to Huntington this year, recently took a position with the Mariners.
The Pirates entered this series at Miller Park having not had a starting pitcher earn a victory in Milwaukee since May 2007. Tom Gorzelanny picked up the victory that day. Pittsburgh has won just two games in Milwaukee since then. The Brewers are currently on a 12-game home winning streak against the Pirates.
If the Pirates can limit the Brewers to eight runs or fewer in this three-game series it would mark the first time since 1992 that the club has allowed fewer than 700 runs in a non-strike season.
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.