BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) – The Pirates have made a decision on their closer after three days of workouts at Spring Training.

Manager Clint Hurdle announced Wednesday that right-hander Joel Hanrahan will start the season at the position.

Hanrahan was given the job over Evan Meek, an All-Star. Hurdle said the decision was made after considerable internal discussions.

While speaking to the media, Hurdle said, “there wasn’t a bad choice” when it came to picking between Hanrahan and Meek.

Meek will become the setup man for Hanrahan and the competition will now begin for the remaining spots in the bullpen.

Earlier in the week, Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage told 93-7 The Fan’s morning show that there would be competition in the bullpen.

Hurdle said he decided on Hanrahan as the closer because of his previous experience at the position.

Hanrahan was the closer for the Washington Nationals in 2008. He went nine for 12 in save opportunities, but then struggled in the ’09 season before he was traded to the Pirates.

Last season, Hanrahan went 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA and recorded six saves in 10 opportunities. Meek and Hanrahan split the closer role last year when Octavio Dotel was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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