Down in lineup, Presley making adjustments

Down in lineup, Presley making adjustments

Down in lineup, Presley making adjustments
MIAMI -- The Pirates have several hitters struggling at the plate recently.

Those struggles have caused manager Clint Hurdle to try some different things with his lineup with the hope that it would help his hitters find success again.

One of those hitters is Alex Presley, whom Hurdle dropped from second in the lineup to seventh with the hope that he will relax and return to the player that hit .298 over 52 big league games last season.

"It relieves a little pressure not being in the top of the lineup and feeling that need to get on base for the people behind you," Presley said. "It's a good chance to try to get myself together."

The 26-year-old has been working on a minor adjustment that he believes will make a big difference in his offensive production.

"I've been trying to finish my swing two-handed instead of one-handed," Presley said. "I've always done it one-handed, but I've always walked that fine line of maybe letting go too soon. I'm definitely trying to finish two-handed through the ball. I know it seems simple. It's nothing groundbreaking, but I think it will help."

Presley is one of several speedy Bucs that the team expects to steal a lot of bases this season. However, Presley has stolen just three in seven attempts. The low success rate is not uncommon so far for Pirates players, as the team has succeeded on only 16 of their 31 stolen-base attempts coming into Tuesday's game.

"Last night, [John] Buck threw me out from his knees," Presley said. "That's just one of those things where you just tip your hat. There have been pitchouts and they've guessed right on us. We try to take more risks, so with more risk comes more chances to get thrown out. We're going to keep running and make people make plays."

While the Pirates' speed has not led to as many stolen bases as they might have liked so far this year, Presley believes their speed has been a benefit in their brief stay at Marlins Park.

"I think here at this park, it's been good in the outfield, because it's big and we can cover a lot," Presley said. "That works to our advantage."