PITTSBURGH -- Next time Pirates general manager Neal Huntington cautions against drawing definitive conclusions from a player's current temperature -- because hot streaks and cold spells invariably follow each other -- perhaps he could ask Alex Presley to demonstrate. Presley was hitting when none of the other Pirates were, carrying a 12-game hitting streak and an average of .303 through April 28. Since then, he's gone 3-for-28, and the left fielder has started only one of the last four games. Presley has used the time to enroll in batting coach Gregg Ritchie's remedial school of hitting. The Bucs are helping Presley get back to the approach that made him such an on-base threat as a rookie last season, when he batted. 298 in 52 games following his late-June promotion.
"We've re-visited a lot of his at-bats from last year, and the impact he was able to make at the top of the lineup," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Sometimes you get misguided into trying to do something you normally don't. Your job atop the lineup is to get on base." Presley has drawn three walks in 109 plate appearances, nudging his .250 batting average up to only a .271 on-base percentage.