By: Dan Zangrilli

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Pittsburgh Pirates’ owner Bob Nutting was in Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday and addressed the media.

Among a number of topics he was asked about, one was contract extensions of his upper management crew. He wouldn’t commit.

Instead, he answered saying there hasn’t been “internal concerns or focus on contracts.”

When asked a follow-up if he would be receptive to discussing, he again wouldn’t commit, instead saying, he has faith in them, and “culturally, I think it’s important I support them as long as they’re our management team.”

Manager Clint Hurdle named A.J. Burnett his Opening Day starter.

Wandy Rodriguez will be slotted No. 2.

There’s no word on where James McDonald fits in as Hurdle wouldn’t commit him to the third slot.

Speaking of, McDonald told The Fan’s Dan Zangrilli that he’s feeling great from the windup, but not so much from the stretch as he looks to improve his timing.

Jeff Karstens says that he feels better today than he did yesterday. Karstens was shut down from a live BP session Tuesday with biceps soreness.

Jameson Taillon added that the Pirates are heavily emphasizing the defense of the run game with the pitchers in the way they mix it up, hold the ball, etc.

The Pirates toured the media and other dignitaries through the newly-renovated McKechnie Field. A brand new wraparound deck was added in the outfield, along with left field bleachers. It increases the park’s seating capacity from roughly 6,500 to 8,500.

Standing room only tickets – which are $10 – can get close to 10,000 in the facility. With those improvements, McKechnie goes from the 13th to the 4th biggest facility in the Grapefruit League.

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