PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have recalled left-hander Jeff Locke from Triple-A Indianapolis, making room for him by optioning outfielder Alex Presley to Indianapolis.
Locke fills the bullpen spot and role temporarily vacated by Kevin Correia, who started Wednesday night's game against the D-backs. That essentially makes Locke, who was scheduled to make his next start for the Indians on Thursday, an emergency arm for the Pirates.
"He gives us volume if we need innings," said manager Clint Hurdle.
Locke started 21 games for Indianapolis, posting a 9-5 record and 2.66 ERA. He threw 125 innings, and in that stretch he racked up 113 strikeouts to go along with 38 walks.
The 24-year-old started four games for Pittsburgh in 2011. He went 0-3 with a 6.48 ERA, allowing 12 runs on 21 hits in 16 2/3 innings.
He made his big league debut by joining September's expanded roster, and now steps into the middle of the National League Central race.
"Last year was an eye-opener, for sure. I had a taste, and I knew I wanted to get back," Locke said. "They were out of it by the time I got here, and now it's a completely different clubhouse. Everyone is ready to keep this thing going."
Presley's role was diminished when Pittsburgh called up Starling Marte and traded for Travis Snider. In 77 games, Presley hit .234, with eight home runs and 16 RBIs, and he went 9-for-14 in stolen base attempts. In Indianapolis, Presley will join Jose Tabata, another outfielder optioned down this season.
The Pirates acquired Locke in the 2009 trade with Atlanta that also brought in Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernandez in exchange for Nate McLouth. The Braves had selected Locke in the second round of the 2006 Draft.
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.