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General manager Huntington, Pirates mull call-up options for year

| Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, 5:24 p.m.
Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte slides into third with a triple in the seventh inning of the baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in Pittsburgh. The Diamondbacks won 6-3. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday that deciding which players to call up beginning in September is a different exercise this season than it was his first few years on the job.

“The decision who to call up has been: Who do we want to look at? Who do we want to reward? Is a guy ready to come up? Is he going to play?” Huntington said. “Now, it's who's going to help us win? Who gives us an extra weapon for (manager Clint Hurdle) to try to win a game late?”

Huntington also has to consider what he wants the club to look like on Oct. 5, when the wild-card playoff games begin.

“The makeup of our club at midnight on Aug. 31 is the makeup of our club on Oct. 5, provided we take care of business and we get there,” Huntington said. “So that's a little different, to try to put together an Oct. 5 roster on Aug. 31.”

Huntington confirmed that players on the 15-day disabled list, including outfielder Starling Marte and reliever Chad Qualls, would be eligible for the postseason roster. In the cases of pitcher Charlie Morton and infielder Gustavo Nunez, if they remain on the 60-day disabled list the remainder of the season, the Pirates can replace them with someone who is in the organization as of Aug. 31 but not necessarily on the 25-man roster.

Nunez, the Pirates' Rule 5 pick who has been out all season after having right ankle surgery, is on a rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona.

“As of right now,” Huntington said, “we're treating it as if we're going to have the one wild-card spot (Morton) where we can add someone off the roster, and that's where you look at who your first-round opponent is and who else from your system can help.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7980 or kprice@tribweb.com.

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