"I did like the core group of offensive players," Hurdle recalled. "Watching [Jose] Tabata, [Pedro] Alvarez, [Andrew] McCutchen, [Neil] Walker, from a hitting coach's perspective, I thought, 'You know what, they've got some stakes on the ground. If they get on the other side of the ball and pitch better, they've got a shot.'"
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.