SAN DIEGO -- Facing injuries to two outfielders, the Pirates Wednesday added Felix Pie from Class AAA Indianapolis to reinforce their outfield.
Pie, 28, led off and played left field as Starling Marte missed his third consecutive game due to a contusion on his right hand. Before the game against the San Diego Padres, manager Clint Hurdle said Jose Tabata has tendinitis in his left knee that he first complained about Tuesday night.
Tabata was available off the bench, Hurdle said, but he wanted Marte to improve more before putting him back in the lineup.
"I want him to be able to throw with force and efficiency and be able to take a swing that's got some aggression to it," Hurdle said.
By optioning reliever Ryan Reid to Indianapolis to clear room for Pie on the roster, the Pirates returned to five bench players and seven relievers. They transferred Wandy Rodriguez to the 60-day disabled list, a paper move that does not affect his status, to make room for Pie on the 40-man roster.
The Pirates cannot yet recall Andrew Lambo or Alex Presley because neither outfielder has spent the required 10 days in the minors after they were optioned.
Pie, a left-handed hitter, joined the Pirates as a minor league free agent with an invitation to spring training.
He hit .251 with a .325 on-base percentage and a .390 slugging percentage in 396 plate appearances in Indianapolis this season. He alternated good and bad months -- .172 in April, .356 in May, .192 in June -- before hitting .247 in July and .256 in August.
"He played so well for us in the spring, and it really took him a long time to get any traction going," Hurdle said. "The kid's full of effort, he's full of energy, he's got experience. He's been good defensively, he's been good on the bases, and, in the last month, the swing has started to play better."
Pie stole 38 bases with Indianapolis this season while getting caught nine times. After an inconsistent first half, he hit .344 in his past 10 games.
"Down, up, down, up a little bit," Pie said. "Everything was going well over there."
He surely will be a platoon guy against right-handed pitchers. He hit .290 against right-handers this season, .053 against left-handers, and Hurdle started him against Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy Wednesday.
"Over the course of [Kennedy's] career, left-handers have had a little better success than right-handers," Hurdle said.
Pie hit .183 against left-handers in his major league career, .263 against right-handers. He appeared in the majors for parts of five seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles and previously played in the majors exactly two years ago Wednesday: Aug. 21, 2011.
Pie said he found out he was coming to San Diego at 2 a.m. Wednesday before flying here from Syracuse, N.Y., where Indianapolis was playing.
Jason Grilli (flexor strain) will throw a bullpen session today or Friday, Hurdle said. Grilli threw off the slope of the mound Tuesday, which Hurdle said went "very, very well." ... Rodriguez (forearm tightness) said his forearm felt better two days after he felt pain following a bullpen session. He remains on track to pitch in a simulated game today in San Francisco.
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @BrinkPG.