Presley looks to snap out of batting slump
Alex Presley, mired in a batting slump, has been benched in four of the past six games. After batting .303 over the first 19 games, Presley went into last night's game in a 3-for-32 funk.
“I've gotten behind in the count a bunch, which makes it hard to hit,” Presley said. “Maybe I need to be more aggressive early on fastballs. It's one of those things where it kind of snowballs. I don't want to make too much out of it. It's more mental than physical.”
In addition to spending time in the batting cage, Presley has been studying video of his at-bats over the past two seasons.
Presley has a tendency to allow his bottom hand to become dominant as he swings. He also has a quick release — the better to utilize his speed — but sometimes lets go of the bat too soon with his bottom hand.
“It's nothing major,” Presley said. “Everyone's constantly making little adjustments.”
Still, Presley's mechanics are not the main problem. Manager Clint Hurdle wants to see sharper focus.
“It's not that he hasn't had any,” Hurdle said. “Sometimes it can get misguided, and he'll fall into the trap of trying to do something he hasn't normally done. His job at the top of the lineup is to get on base. He doesn't need to walk more or strike out less. He needs to hit balls that are in the zone — he needs to really strike those balls.”
• Right-hander Jeff Karstens (shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session Thursday — 36 pitches, fastballs and a couple of changeups — and is scheduled to throw another Sunday. Karstens will make the road trip with the Pirates next week to Miami, Washington and Detroit. After that, he'll likely make his first rehab start with Double-A Altoona, which plays at home May 18-24.
• Nate McLouth, who last night started in left field, might begin making more frequent appearances in the lineup. “He's not your typical fourth outfielder,” Hurdle said. “He's played in an All-Star Game. He's won a Gold Glove. He's waited, he's been patient and worked hard. The first couple times he went out there, his mentality was, ‘If I hit a couple homers, I'll be in the lineup.' It usually doesn't work out that way. Now, I'm looking forward to seeing him play.”
• Going into last night's game, Pedro Alvarez was 0 for 15 with five walks since moving into the cleanup spot. Hurdle is not panicking. “It's not that he's taking (too many pitches) or that he's chasing,” Hurdle said. “He's hit some balls, and they've made some good defensive plays. He's taken his walks. As far as I'm concerned, I am pleased with the way he's approached his at-bats in the cleanup spot.”
— Rob Biertempfel
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cole shuts down Diamondbacks as Pirates open road trip with victory
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen unfazed by return to Arizona
- Pirates look to continue success in cross-country trips
- Gameday: Pirates at Diamondbacks, April 25, 2015
- Super-agent Boras says Pirates will have opportunity to re-sign Alvarez, Cole
- Pirates notebook: Marte, McCutchen out of starting lineup in series finale
- Rossi: The only Alvarez we know is a slugger
- Pirates notebook: Fan struck by foul ball released from hospital
- Woman struck by foul ball in ‘horrid’ scene at Pirates game
- Gameday: Pirates at Diamondbacks, April 24, 2015
- Polanco, bullpen come up clutch as Pirates capture win over Cubs