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Pirates to move forward with Tabata, Presley in right

Pirates to move forward with Tabata, Presley in right

Pirates to move forward with Tabata, Presley in right

PITTSBURGH -- Though fans clamored for the Pirates to acquire a right fielder, the asking price just wasn't right for general manager Neil Huntington, so Pittsburgh will move on, for now, with Jose Tabata and Alex Presley.

Travis Snider is recovering from a turf-toe-like injury. First baseman Garrett Jones and utility man Josh Harrison can play right field as well.

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The Pirates rank 29th in the Majors in both average and OPS from right fielders entering Thursday's series finale against the Cardinals. It was an area where the club could have used an upgrade, although it's possible Huntington will make a move in the coming weeks, as teams can trade through waivers in August.

Manager Clint Hurdle would like to see someone take charge, but he added that a strength of his team is that everyone on the bench is seeing action and it's not often that someone enters a game after not playing for a few weeks.

"You'd like for somebody to get hot," Hurdle said. "If you can get somebody that can go out there and man that position, that could definitely help, but I also believe we can continue to go at it the way we've gone at it."

Hurdle said several weeks ago that he would give Tabata, who spent more than a month on the disabled list with a strained oblique, the chance to be the everyday right fielder. Tabata started 16 consecutive games before being hit on the forearm with a fastball on July 23 in Washington, and batted .278/.339/.389 over that span. That's slightly better than his .252/.327/.364 mark for the season.

Presley started the 2012 season as the Pirates' leadoff man before the emergence of Starling Marte. He's been up and down between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis this season -- now in his third stint with the Bucs -- and has a .296/.296/.463 line in 54 at-bats. He has seven runs and four RBIs.

Had the Pirates acquired a right fielder before Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, Presley likely would have been the odd man out. But now he's gotten -- and made the most of -- his chance, delivering a walk-off single on Tuesday afternoon to lift the Pirates over the Cardinals.

"It's the only way to come up -- contribute in a series like this," Presley said. "Five is a lot of games against a division rival, and having a hand in us winning some games is awesome."

Snider, 25, was traded to Pittsburgh from Toronto at the deadline last season, but he has underperformed this year. He has a .219/.287/.322 line with three homers and 23 RBIs in 242 at-bats over 95 games. He has been dealing with the toe injury since last season. In July he hit just .156, with a .369 OPS.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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