04/15/2013 8:11 PM ET
Needing lefty, Pirates recall Presley
By George Von Benko / Special to MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates optioned right-hander Phil Irwin back to Triple-A Indianapolis and recalled outfielder Alex Presley.
In seven games with Indianapolis this season, Presley hit .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, a home run, two RBIs and a .400 on-base percentage. He reached base in all seven games, hitting safely in six, and went 2-for-4 on Saturday in his last game.
Presley played well in Spring Training, but he did not come north with the team. Though disappointed, he put in the work to get back to the Major Leagues.
"I'm definitely pleased to be back," Presley said. "I just went down in the spring and worked on some stuff and played well. That was the goal, to get back, and it feels good to be back."
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talked about his plans for Presley.
"What we did was, we looked at the schedule," Hurdle said. "All right-handed pitchers, with the exception of Paul Maholm, who is not a traditional left-on-left. How we want to set our bench and how we want to set in game decisions, we thought we were stronger with another left-handed bat and speed, leading off an inning, maybe spot Starling Marte for a day. We just thought Presley could bring more right now."
McCutchen mindful of what Robinson went through
PITTSBURGH -- All players in Monday's game against the Cardinals wore No. 42 jerseys in honor of Jackie Robinson on the 66th anniversary of the day when baseball's color barrier was broken by the Dodgers infielder.
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In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute. One No. 42 jersey from each club will be autographed by all of the players and coaches and auctioned on MLB.com, with proceeds benefitting the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
"We take pride in wearing the number 42 on our back," Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "It's something that happens once out of the year, and for myself personally it means a lot, just to think about what he overcame and what he endured and the things that he went through. That's just to say the least; it just feels good to feel like you're a part of it, and it feels good just to put that jersey on."
McCutchen said he would have loved to have had dinner with Robinson.
"He's a guy whose brain I would really have liked to have picked back in the day," McCutchen said. "A guy who went through a lot, he's a person that I would have loved to have talked to. Just to ask him his mindset, because this game is so mental and on top of the things that he had to go through and to have the mental toughness that he had. It had to be through the roof; he had to be uncommon."
"It would have been nice to sit down and ask him that, what he did and how did he got through it," McCutchen added.
The film "42" about Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier premiered last weekend, and McCutchen, acting as a film critic, gave it a thumb's up.
"I saw the movie this off-season," McCutchen said. "It's a great movie, and if you haven't seen it, I encourage people to go see it, because you get a bigger perspective on the game of baseball and a bigger perspective on the change, and it's good for a lot of people to go see."
• The Pirates produced a season-high 15 hits and 10 runs Sunday afternoon after collecting 26 hits in their first seven games combined. The Pirates have recorded 50 hits in their last five games.
• Bucs catcher Mike McKenry homered in consecutive innings (seventh and eighth) Sunday afternoon vs Cincinnati. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McKenry is the third Pirates catcher since 1961 to homer in consecutive innings. Don Slaught did it in the fifth and sixth innings of a 10-9 win over Cincinnati on July 2, 1993, and Smoky Burgess homered in the seventh and eighth innings of an 11-7 win at St. Louis on June 30, 1962.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.