Trio set to polish game in instructional league

Trio set to polish game in instructional league

Trio set to polish game in instructional league
MILWAUKEE -- The Pirates' instructional league, which began last week in Bradenton, Fla., will be getting a few new faces upon the conclusion of the Major League season.

Alex Presley and Josh Harrison are scheduled to attend workouts for about 10 days so that both can work on specific areas of their games. Harrison will be getting instruction at shortstop, a position he has not played regularly since college.

Presley's focus will be on bunting, as the Pirates work to get him more comfortable in using the bunt as an offensive weapon. He'll also spend some time refining his running game, with attention paid to his leads and breaks on stolen-base attempts.

"There is still something to prove every year," Presley said. "I have to prove that I can come back and play well up here. There is always something new no matter if you're Albert Pujols or me. There is always motivation to be found somewhere."

Manager Clint Hurdle will travel to Bradenton to help supervise some of those IL workouts. Hurdle is also working on getting catcher Michael McKenry to join him in Florida for some one-on-one hitting instruction.

McKenry is a strong candidate to be the Pirates' backup catcher again in 2012, though his offensive production has trailed off since he first arrived. Since the beginning of August, McKenry has just 10 hits in 64 at-bats.

McKenry and Hurdle are also scheduled to meet three times during the offseason for hitting instruction.