Doubleheader means historic 26th man for Pirates, Rockies

Rob Biertempfel
| Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 6:26 p.m.

The Pirates and Colorado Rockies will take advantage of a new rule and each add a player for their doubleheader Wednesday without having to make a corresponding roster move. They will be the first MLB teams to use the rule.

“It's a good idea,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

Under the recently approved collective bargaining agreement, teams can expand their active rosters to 26 players for doubleheaders so long as the twinbill was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Monday's game was postponed by rain early in the day, so this makeup doubleheader meets the qualification.

“If it's a one-day stay, you can bring them up and (send them) back,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Having an extra arm gives you flexibility to cover 18 innings in one day.”

Huntington wouldn't identify who the Pirates will call up. RHP Jared Hughes, who was sent down Saturday, and LHP Daniel Moskos, who has a 1.59 ERA in five outings at Triple-A Indianapolis, are possibilities.

There has been talk about possibly expanding rosters beyond the current limit of 25 players for all games. Many coaches and players like the idea because it would ease the burden on bullpens. The players' union likes it because it would mean more players making major league money. Owners don't like it for the same reason.

“I haven't given it deep thought,” Hurdle said. “My focus is on things that are task-specific right now that we can actually do something about. I think it will all work itself out. Those decisions are made above my head ... and at the end of the day, we'll do what's best for the game.”

• Hurdle managed in Colorado from 2002-09 and maintains ties to several coaches, scouts and staff there. He said games against the Rockies are special. “I don't have a (Rockies) tattoo anywhere,” Hurdle said, “but there's a part of my heart that will always hold a great affection and appreciation for the time I had in Colorado.”

• Hanging on the door to Hurdle's office was a black, No. 58 Steelers jersey autographed by Hall of Famer Jack Lambert with the message: “To Clint, a real pro!”

• Two of the Pirates' top prospects, RHP Aaron Pribanic (right shoulder) and INF Jarek Cunningham (left wrist), were placed on the disabled list at Double-A Altoona.

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