Top prospects join Bucs
• The Pirates' top two prospects -- outfielder Andrew McCutchen and third baseman Neil Walker -- will be with the team today through Wednesday, but not as active players. "It's about letting them see the environment and experiencing it," general manager Neal Huntington said. "That way, when they come up (to play), we'll have taken away a little bit of the edge, some of the unknown."
• Nine players are eligible for arbitration this offseason. John Grabow ($1.135 million in 2008) and Adam LaRoche ($5 million in 2008) will be in their final year of eligibility. Nate McLouth, Ryan Doumit, Paul Maholm, Tom Gorzelanny, Zach Duke, Tyler Yates and Denny Bautista will be in line for significant raises as they enter their first year in the process.
• The Pirates could face some tough decisions when it comes to tendering offers to their arbitration-eligible players. "That comes down to the agents," Huntington said. "If you have some people who are realistic in what they ask, then no. If they fail to recognize performance levels and production, then yes. It always comes down to the negotiations."
• Left-hander Phil Dumatrait (shoulder) will rehab this offseason at his home in Bakersfield, Calif., and come to Pittsburgh two or three times for medical checkups. Dumatrait hopes to resume throwing in late October and will attend mini-camp in January.
• Righty Jimmy Barthmaier will start Saturday against the Houston Astros. The Pirates still plan on sending him to the Arizona Fall League to build up some innings and refine his changeup. The Pirates still have one vacancy on their AFL roster.
10 -- Victories by the Pirates in their past 11 extra-inning games.
6 -- Consecutive extra-inning wins by the Pirates at PNC Park.
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