Pirates notebook: Hurdle discusses roster expansion
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 7:39 p.m.
The Pirates will likely add nine or 10 players to their active roster in the final month of the regular season.
Major league 25-man rosters can expand starting Sept. 1. Everyone on a club's 40-man roster is eligible.
The Pirates will call up players in stages, starting with a couple of minor leaguers Sunday. Pitcher Jeff Locke and catcher Tony Sanchez will return Tuesday, the day after Double-A Altoona ends its season. Other players will trickle in whenever Triple-A Indianapolis finishes its playoff run. Closer Jason Grilli and outfielders Starling Marte and Travis Snider will return as soon as they're ready to come off the disabled list.
“When it's all said and done, we could be looking at 34 or 35 guys,” manager Clint Hurdle said Thursday. “We're really keeping it simple. We'll look at some length options out of the bullpen and obviously a starter for Sunday.”
The Pirates haven't named Locke's replacement for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
Rookie Brandon Cumpton threw seven shutout innings against the Cardinals on July 30. However, he pitched Wednesday for Indy and is not likely to go on short rest. Kris Johnson threw six strong innings of relief Aug. 18 against Arizona, but he is slated to start Friday for Indy.
Smaller is better?
During his first few years as a manager, when the Rockies weren't very good, Hurdle liked the idea of expanded rosters in September.
“We were trying to figure things out,” Hurdle said. “We needed to get a look at guys, get 'em out and play, even though it's a watered-down month.”
The situation is different for a team in a playoff chase. Now, Hurdle would prefer the 25-man limit was in place year-round.
“I just like having the team that you've had (since April),” Hurdle said. “There are so many moves you can make (after roster expansion) ... and sometimes it gets a little bit out of bounds.”
Swelling the rosters with extra arms can negate the advantage for a team that already had a strong bullpen, such as the Pirates.
“I've been around enough years where you can really see the difference,” Hurdle said. “You've watched the whole league for five months and you've watched what you've got. You say, ‘You know what? Man to man, we're better than they are. Let's go play.' ''
Locke hits reset button
Locke worked out Thursday at PNC Park before leaving to report to Altoona. The left-hander will keep working on the side, but Locke will not pitch in any of the Curve's remaining four games.
“This was the best way we could all come to a compromise on me missing a start,” Locke said. “I want to keep pitching, but you have to look at what's right. These guys have to have somebody (pitching) every fifth day who they feel good about. It's time for me to step back for a second and kind of regroup so I can come back stronger and better.”
Locke said he expects to go back into the rotation when he returns Tuesday.
“I don't think anything is going to change,” he said. “This is just a way to give me a blow.”
Marte (right hand contusion, ligament sprain) took one-handed swings Wednesday.
“It's getting the other hand on the bat and we're hoping to do that maybe this weekend,” Hurdle said. “We'll start with some dry swings and see where that takes us. And maybe — maybe — if that goes well, we'll get him out on a rehab sometime toward the back end of next week. That's all speculation, but there is improvement.”
Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (forearm inflammation) threw short toss on flat ground. He and pitching coach Ray Searage were smiling at the end of the brief workout, so it appeared to go well.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Martin finding power stroke
- Top pitching prospect Taillon’s time with Pirates must wait
- Spring training breakdown: Orioles 7, Pirates 6
- Pirates reserve outfielder Dickerson is also at home on soccer pitch
- Pirates notebook: Volquez, Morton struggle
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Stats Corner: McCutchen’s contract extension brings huge cost savings
- Spring training breakdown: Red Sox 4, Pirates 1; Orioles 9, Pirates 2
- Pirates seek to tap Alvarez’s remaining upside
- Pirates notebook: Liriano looks to complete consecutive quality seasons
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 7, Red Sox 6