Hurdle keeping DH plans a secret

Hurdle keeping DH plans a secret

Hurdle keeping DH plans a secret
PITTSBURGH -- Manager Clint Hurdle has decided how he is going to handle the designated hitter during the team's upcoming Interleague swing, but he's not letting anyone in on the secret just yet.

The Pirates begin their road portion of Interleague Play on Friday with a three-game set against the Indians. Pittsburgh's only other stop in an American League ballpark will come from June 28-30 in Toronto.

Asked about DH options on Monday, Hurdle remained evasive.

"It's been firmed up, but we're not going to share it," Hurdle said. "I think we've got some options to take care of that, maximize our outfield defense as well as our infield defense. It will be a good opportunity for us to take a look at some different things and personnel, probably, in some different spots."

The Pirates have discussed the possibility of fortifying their offense by calling up Triple-A outfielder Alex Presley. If promotions were based solely on numbers, Presley, who leads the International League in this hits this season with 83, would have been up weeks ago. The reality, though, is that the Pirates have little flexibility with the outfielders already on the big league roster.

Though Matt Diaz has not been producing up to expectations, it's hard to see the Pirates letting him go, given that the right-handed-hitting outfielder is signed through 2012 at a cost of $4 million. Garrett Jones has had his share of struggles, too, though he'd be made available to every other club on waivers if taken off the roster. Xavier Paul would be in the same situation.

All this has compounded the Pirates' attempts at finding a way to add Presley.

"The reality of it is, we don't have a lot of moving pieces," Hurdle said. "We're aware of some guys who are doing well. We're giving it a little more time in a couple of different areas right now. We're trying to exhibit some patience."

Another Triple-A hitter on the Pirates' radar is infielder Chase d'Arnaud, who'd be an option to replace Josh Harrison if Harrison's oblique tightness keeps him sidelined for any length of time. d'Arnaud is batting .351 for Indianapolis this month.