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Pirates notebook: "Excited" first baseman Clement makes timely return

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates first baseman Jeff Clement works out during fielding drills Monday February 27, 2012, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

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Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, 6:56 p.m.
 

Jeff Clement walked into the home clubhouse Friday afternoon at PNC Park before the Pirates played the Brewers, unsure of exactly where to go.

“You look lost,” pitcher Jeff Karstens called out.

“I am,” Clement said.

It has, after all, been awhile.

Receiving lots of hugs after joining the big club from Triple-A Indianapolis, Clement eventually found his locker. His jerseys (No. 19) and other equipment soon joined him.

The 29-year-old first baseman last played for the Pirates in 2010, hitting .201 in 154 plate appearances before season-ending knee surgery. He played in just 31 games in the minors in 2011 after extensive rehab.

Clement hit 35 doubles and 16 home runs this season at Indy, and will give the Pirates another left-handed bat and a veteran presence. To make room for Clement, the Pirates optioned infielder Yamaico Navarro to Indy.

The third overall pick in the 2005 draft, by Seattle, Clement said he was surprised the call came when it did.

“I thought there might have been a chance in September,” he said. “I think about where I was a year ago, coming off rehab and playing sparingly in triple-A, and to have a solid year and be back here, It's everything I hoped it would be and I'm excited about the opportunity.”

• The Pirates claimed left-handed reliever Hisanori Takahashi on waivers from the Angels on Friday and will add him to the 25-man roster. Takahashi, 37, went 0-3 with a 4.92 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 42 games.

• On Friday, doctors examined rookie outfielder Starling Marte's strained oblique, and the results were encouraging. “I just got the note that he was feeling better,” manager Clint Hurdle said. Marte went on the disabled list Sunday. In 23 games, he was hitting .253 with two triples, four homers and four stolen bases, batting lead-off.

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