More help likely to come from Class AAA soon
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Now that Class AAA Indianapolis' season has concluded, the Pirates plan to add to their active roster for the final month of the season, general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday.
"We probably will add another couple guys here," Huntington said. "We want to make sure to give [manager] Clint [Hurdle] every weapon in the world to try to win the game that day. We want to make sure we don't leave any stone unturned."
The Pirates have 33 players on their active roster and can have up to 40. Relievers Daniel McCutchen, Evan Meek and Bryan Morris are possibilities as are Yamaico Navarro, Chase d'Arnaud and Matt Hague.
Indianapolis lost to Charlotte in the International League playoffs. The Indians won 89 games this season and captured the West Division of the International League by 14 games. Huntington said winning in Class AAA required a combination of solid prospects and finding usable minor league free agents, and the success was a positive for the organization.
"In our minds, we won because we out-scouted, we out-developed, we out-executed, and our guys did a nice job down there," he said.
The additions will give Hurdle flexibility as the Pirates try to seize the second National League wild-card spot. The Pirates are 13-23 record since Aug. 1 and have lost seven of their past nine games.
"We need to get back to playing good baseball," Huntington said. "We need to get back to focusing on tonight's game and doing what we did to put ourselves in a position to be in a first-place race, in a wild-card run on the inside instead of on the outside looking in."
Outfielder Josh Bell, the Pirates' second-round pick in the 2011 draft, likely will not return to competitive baseball until spring training, Huntington said.
Bell had surgery in late April to repair the meniscus in his left knee.
"Josh is a competitor," Huntington said "He wants to be back out there and get going, and his body just hasn't cooperated with him."
Huntington said another surgical procedure was a possibility because of continued swelling in Bell's knee.
Rule 5 draft pick Gustavo Nunez did not progress well enough in his rehabilitation assignment to join the active roster this season and will have the same status entering 2013 as he did this year, Huntington said.
Nunez will finish the year on the 60-day disabled list, where the shortstop spent the entire season rehabbing after right ankle surgery. For the Pirates to retain him next season, he will have to spend the entire year on the active roster.
"He still had discomfort and still had soreness," Huntington said. "In our minds, he was not ready to come up here and compete."
• Neil Walker, who has not played since Aug. 26 because of lower-back problems, swung the bat left-handed Sunday. The finish of the left-handed swing previously had caused discomfort because the pain affected the left side of Walkers's lower back.
• The Pirates activated reliever Chad Qualls, who had irritation in his toe, from the 15-day disabled list before the Sunday game.
First Published September 10, 2012 12:00 am