PITTSBURGH -- One way or another, Alex Presley appears to be on his way to Pittsburgh.
The Pirates were already expected to call up the Triple-A outfielder in advance of needing a designated hitter for three games in Toronto. That three-game series begins on Tuesday.
But after seeing Jose Tabata wheeled off the field on a stretcher in the first inning of Sunday's game, the Pirates might need another outfielder for much longer than one Interleague series.
If the Bucs need to place Tabata on the disabled list, Presley would be the natural choice to take his place in Pittsburgh. He was pulled from Indianapolis' lineup just minutes after Tabata exited the field with a left quad injury.
With another two hits in Indianapolis' win on Saturday, Presley now has 98 in 75 Triple-A games. That is more than any other player in the International League. Presley's .336 batting average ranks third in the IL. He has also swiped 18 bases in 22 tries.
"He continues to understand what he can do as a hitter, what his strengths are in the batter's box, on the bases and defensively," general manager Neal Huntington said of Presley. "He obviously had a tremendous first half down there in Triple-A and has forced his way up here. He's certainly earned every opportunity he's going to get up here."
If Tabata is able to avoid a DL stint, the Pirates could add Presley by sending down infielder Pedro Ciriaco. Though this would leave the club short an infielder for a few days, it would give manager Clint Hurdle another bat to consider for the DH spot.