Pirates option Presley to make room for Meek

Pirates option Presley to make room for Meek

Pirates option Presley to make room for Meek
WASHINGTON -- The Pirates made two moves before Wednesday's series opener with the Nationals. They recalled right-handed pitcher Evan Meek from Triple-A Indianpolis and optioned outfielder Alex Presley back there.

Meek was 0-0 with a 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings in nine relief appearances earlier this season. The Pirates optioned him to Indianapolis on April 30, and he didn't give up a run in four appearances for Indy.

Presley started well, getting hits in 17 of his first 19 games, but has gone just 3-for-42 in his last 15 games. He's hitting .220 this season, with two homers and seven RBIs in 34 games.

"I think, for me, we needed Alex to be able to play his game to help our offense go," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's been a challenge now, especially the last two weeks. We need him in the top of the lineup performing and playing his game, and right now, it's just not happening for him."

Hurdle said Presley needs to be playing to get his confidence up and his game back together, and the Pirates are hoping he can do that at Indianapolis.

The return of Meek gives the Pirates eight relievers. Hurdle said he wasn't sure how long they'd keep eight, but wanted to be sure about the situation for this game, which left-hander Erik Bedard is scheduled to start.

Bedard came out early in his last start, after pitching just one-plus inning, due to back spasms against the Nationals seven days ago. Hurdle doesn't want to be caught short-handed in the bullpen, which was busy Tuesday because Kevin Correia lasted just 3 2/3 innings in a loss to Miami.

Adding Meek gives Hurdle some help, and the manager said when the rotation stabilizes itself, they'll look at making a move.

Meanwhile, Meek just wants to come back and contribute at the Major League level.

"My main priority was working on the fastball down in the zone, to be more consistent with it," Meek said. "It's been a short stint at Triple-A, but I definitely feel on track, so I'm just going to bring that to here and do whatever I can to help this team win."