ARLINGTON, Texas – After beginning his normal pregame routine Saturday in Indianapolis, Alex Presley noticed his phone said he had missed a call. Then he noticed it was from Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington.
“I figured I needed to call him back,” Presley deadpanned a day later and a time zone away.
When he did, he learned that he was no longer a Pirate, and no longer at Class AAA for that matter, but one of two players the Twins had acquired for Justin Morneau. He caught a plane Sunday morning, took a cab to Rangers Ballpark and began getting used to his new life. And a new opportunity.
“I’ve been called up four times this year, but this one is a little different,” the 28-year-old Louisiana native said. “This is a chance to show a new team that I deserve to be at the big-league level.”
There’s no doubt about him at a level below; Presley has batted .309, with a .377 on-base percentage and a .460 slugging percentage over four Class AAA seasons. But in several stints with Pittsburgh, he was only a .261 hitter.
“Consistent at-bats are a big deal. In Triple-A, you play every day,” the former eighth-round draft pick said. “At the big-league level, that’s been on and off a little bit.”
No mystery about that. Presley’s natural position is center field, where the Pirates already have an All-Star in Andrew McCutchen.
“We’re excited. He actually ate up our Triple-A team in a series recently [going 7-for-14 against Rochester], and our guys duly noted that,” Gardenhire said of Presley. “We brought him over [because] we needed a leadoff guy. … He’s going to get a chance.”
He’s already got an identity — the guy the Twins got for Morneau. And how do they compare?
“I’m a speed player — get on base, bunt every now and then, try to steal. Run around the outfield and run some stuff down,” Presley said. “The opposite of Morneau. He’s a power guy; I can’t really compare.”
So he’s no Morneau. And you know who else he isn’t?
“I had [No.] 7 in Pittsburgh,” said Presley, wearing Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s No. 1 on his back. “I know I’m not getting that here.”
What of Welker?
Presley offered this scouting report on Duke Welker, his spring-training roommate who is reportedly the second player headed to the Twins: “He’s a big righthander, throws hard. A good slider, and likes to use a lot. He’s a two-pitch guy. He runs it up there 96, 97 [mph].”
However, Twins General Manager Terry Ryan disputed reports in Pittsburgh that a decision on the second player has been made.
“I do not know who the player [to be named] is. So I don’t know how anybody else does,” Ryan said, adding that the teams agreed upon a list of potential players, with the Pirates having the right to choose one to send to the Twins.
|Miami - LP: M. Dunn||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter||3|
|Arizona - WP: T. Cahill||7||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop||5|
|San Francisco - WP: J. Machi||12||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: C. Bettis||10|
|Texas - WP: M. Perez||3||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: S. Gray||0|
|Houston - LP: J. Fields||3||FINAL|
|Seattle - WP: F. Rodney||5|
|Cincinnati||1||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|LA Angels||0||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Kansas City||2||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Baltimore||3||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|Chicago WSox||2||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|St. Louis||1||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|Minnesota||0||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|NY Yankees||0||Top 3rd Inning|
|San Diego - T. Ross||7:10 PM|
|Milwaukee - K. Lohse|
|Philadelphia - C. Hamels||9:10 PM|
|Los Angeles - Z. Greinke|
|Charlotte||41||2nd Qtr 2:34|
|St. Louis||8:30 PM|
|Houston||0||1st Half 25:00|
|Red Bull New York||1|