When one watched Clint Hurdle hobble out to the mound towards the end of last year, it was obvious that something was wrong. The pain was obvious, as each trek to the mound to make a pitching change was agony. It hurt just to watch him at times.
Once the Pirates were eliminated by the eventual World Series winning Giants, it was learned that Hurdle’s arthritic hips were causing him problems. The pain was so bad that, just after the season, Hurdle had his right hip replaced. Now, approximately three months later, Hurdle is going to have his left hip replaced.
While Clint Hurdle may not be entirely mobile by the time that Spring Training starts, he will be in a lot better shape. Those trips to the mound will not be as painful to watch as they had been last year. While Hurdle may not be about to dance the Charleston on a flagpole, he should certainly feel a lot better.
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Perhaps this hip replacement can help the Pirates out as well this upcoming season. That pain had to be in the back of Hurdle’s mind, and in a game like baseball, any possible distraction can be costly. While Hurdle’s hips may not have cost the Pirates last year, they certainly did not help.
Now, a hopefully pain free Clint Hurdle will be tasked with bringing the Pirates back to the postseason for the third consecutive season. With an exciting young team, headlined by players like Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, the Pirates have a bright present and future. That third postseason appearance could well be coming down the line, and a healthy, pain-free Hurdle will help ensure that.
Clint Hurdle will have his second hip replacement surgery today. Here’s to a speedy recovery and a great 2015 season!