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The Pittsburgh Pirates had enough of Alex Presley's 3-for-42 stretch, optioning the 26-year-old to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday. He's a sophomore slump case: Presley's fanning in 24 percent of his plate appearances while walking in only 3.2 percent of them.
Maybe a farm trip will help clean things up; there's still intrigue here for double-digit homers and 20-ish swipes, but the contact bat has been a first-strike victim a whopping 70.4 percent of the time this year, per Fangraphs. It's hard, even for a slappish hitter, to consistently battle out of those situations; he doesn't frighten hurlers. Maybe if he jumps on strikes sooner, he'll yield more punch.
In dual-universe games, he's an acceptable drop, but he should be monitored, especially by those with deep outfield requirements, if he shows progress in Indy and/or the Buccos' replacements disappoint.
That's not a difficult proposition. Figure Nate McLouth (lefty) and Yamaico Navarro (righty), an underwhelming offensive pair, to enlist in platoon work, but likely not every day. Garrett Jones could slide to the outfield so Casey McGehee can land on the card when Pittsburgh faces southpaws, leaving the two outfielders out in the cold.
This foursome won't see enough of a playing time boost to warrant mixed-league attention, but McLouth figures to gain the most utility in NL-onlys because Presley's departure opens up more work for left-handed lumber. The Pirates also seemingly trust McGehee versus righty arms, despite his woes against them, to bolster his reps.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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