Concussion-like symptoms bench Presley
Drew Sutton is congratulated at home plate after hitting a walk-off home run against Houston in the ninth inning Tuesday night at PNC Park.
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One day after leaving a game with concussion-like symptoms, Alex Presley was kept out of action. How long he is absent depends on how he feels today.
The Pirates could place Presley on the seven-day disabled list, created in 2011 specifically for players dealing with concussions and brain injuries. Minor league infielder Jordy Mercer was in the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon, though the team did not announce a roster move.
The team will wait to see how Presley feels today before making a decision.
"We have a battery of tests that we follow explicitly," manager Clint Hurdle said. "This is one area in which the player has to interact honestly with the questioning process. This is not a test you want to cheat on."
Hurdle said Presley did not hit his head when he dived to try to catch a shallow fly ball off Jed Lowrie's bat in the first inning Tuesday.
"It was more of a whiplash-type scenario," Hurdle said.
Presley stayed in until the top of the fifth, when he was replaced in left by Gorkys Hernandez. He complained of concussion-like symptoms to the team's trainers.
Before he was the hero Tuesday, Drew Sutton was the target of a handful of hecklers in right field.
Sutton, who hit a walkoff home run later that night, was running all over right field early in the game. Typically an infielder, it was only his third career appearance in right.
"He was yelling 'I see why Tampa Bay let you go,' " Sutton said. "I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me man.' I'm in like my second day and have played right field like three times. I'm getting run around like a dog. They were wearing me out."
The Pirates claimed Sutton off of waivers June 24 after he was designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays.
On the day the United States celebrated its 236th birthday, Pirates reliever Jared Hughes celebrated his 27th.
Hughes shares his birth date with former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner, who would have turned 84 Wednedsay. Tanner died in February 2011. But Hughes' connection with the Tanner family does not stop there.
After signing with the Pirates in '06, Hughes reported to Class A Williamsport, where his first professional pitching coach was Bruce Tanner, Chuck Tanner's son. It was Bruce Tanner's last season in the Pirates organization before being hired by the Detroit Tigers.
"I know that Chuck did amazing things for the organization, but Bruce also did," Hughes said. "He just said to me, just throw sinkers. He was the first guy that really said that and said 'Hey, you can make it to the major leagues if you can keep that sinker down.' "
Most baseball players struggle to remember the last Fourth of July they spent away from the game. For Hurdle, it was only three years ago.
After being fired by the Colorado Rockies in May 2009, Hurdle took some time off to re-evaluate things. He spent the Fourth of July with his family at a beach house in Nags Head, N.C.
"It might be one of the best Fourth of Julys I've ever had," Hurdle said.
He remembers boogie boarding with his son, eating crab cakes, watching fireworks from the balcony and being sunburnt. Just recently, he reminded his wife, Karla, how much fun he had that year.
"She goes, 'Well, you know what you're going to have to do to recreate that,' " Hurdle said. "I said 'I think I'm good.'
"We'll try and hold off on that for a while."
First Published July 5, 2012 12:00 am