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Hurdle, Pirates readying to expand rosters

PITTSBURGH -- The door to the clubhouse swings open wider on Sunday, when the 25-man roster limit is waived. Expect the Pirates to bring in plenty of reinforcements from the Minors -- in stages, to a total complement of nine or 10 players.

"We'll get some in on Sunday, then more on Tuesday and later," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Triple-A Indianapolis' roster includes nearly a dozen players with past big league experience. But the Bucs won't raid the Indians, who are preparing for the International League playoffs after their regular season ends on Sept. 2. Pitchers Kris Johnson and Ryan Reid figure to be in the first wave of about four from Indianapolis.

The dynamics of these late-season promotions have certainly changed for the Pirates, because their circumstances have. Now it isn't about players who deserve the reward of a Major League introduction, but about players who could assist the chase of a division crown.

"The conversations we're having are different," Hurdle said, referring to internal talks about additions. "There's more talk about what we need to add competitively. We try to keep it simple. What makes sense to add? Where can we use additional help?"

The effect of the September influx of fresh players on the integrity of the baseball season has been a long-debated topic. Hurdle, who favored the system while managing developing teams in Colorado, has gradually had a change of heart about the "split-season."

"I've swayed to the side that the five-month game is much better," Hurdle said. "You see the league for five months, and you see what you got and you know what? We're better than they are. Let's go play."

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
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