Free of the Detroit Tigers and the three left-handers in their bullpen, the Pirates on Friday called up Alex Presley from Class AAA Indianapolis to provide a break for the outfielders.
The left-handed Presley seemed a logical call-up when Jose Tabata went on the disabled list Monday. The Pirates faced four right-handed Tigers starters, followed by three right-handers from the Cincinnati Reds this weekend. Manager Clint Hurdle worried about the Tigers' left-handed relievers, a concern he does not have with the Reds.
"[Reds reliever Manny] Parra's not really a left-on-left guy," Hurdle said. "If you get [Aroldis] Chapman late, that's only the ninth inning. I think at this particular time, I'll be looking to give an outfielder a day down. Presley can slide into any one of those three spots."
Presley had hits in seven of his past 10 games and a .373 on-base percentage for Indianapolis this season.
"I was coming around here late, especially," Presley said. "Just trying to work on a lot of the speed aspects of my game and stuff like that to get ready and tune them up. I'll have a chance to do some of that here, hopefully."
The Pirates also activated Chase d'Arnaud, who was on the 60-day disabled list because of surgery to repair a ligament in his left thumb in March. He was optioned to Indianapolis. To keep the 40-man roster square, the Pirates moved Charlie Morton from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. Morton can come off the DL at any time.
Additions to Indianapolis
The Pirates traded for two pitchers and promoted a third in the past two days to bolster the staff at Indianapolis.
The Pirates acquired left-hander Atahualpa Severino from the Kansas City Royals organization and right-hander Graham Godfrey from the Boston Red Sox organization.
They also promoted right-hander Zack Thornton, who came to the Pirates from the Oakland A's in the trade for Chris Resop, to Indianapolis from Class AA Altoona.
Kyle McPherson, Phil Irwin, Vic Black and Kyle Waldrop are on the disabled list. Waldrop went back on the DL Friday because of a right elbow injury, five days after he came off the DL.
Thornton, 25, had 25 strikeouts in 22 innings in 16 games between Class A Bradenton and Altoona.
Severino, 28, appeared in six games for the Nationals in 2011. He spent most of 2010-12 at Class AAA Syracuse with Washington, but joined the Royals organization for 2013 and allowed three earned runs in nine innings.
Godfrey, 28, pitched for Oakland from 2011-12, starting four games each season. He has appeared in Class AAA for parts of five seasons and struggled with control this year in Pawtucket, starting four of the 13 games he appeared in.
Pedro Alvarez was scratched from the lineup Friday because of lingering pain from the removal of his wisdom teeth Thursday.
Brandon Inge replaced him at third base.
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published June 1, 2013 4:00 AM