Originally posted on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 7/26/12

The Pirates are hoping Starling Marte can fill the inconsistent production from their corner outfield positions this season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled with consistency coming from their corner outfield positions and the leadoff spot in the lineup so far in 2012. The production they’ve had in left has combined for just a .195/.242/.317 line. Their leadoff spot in has hit just .217 on the year. Both numbers are well belong league average and need to improve drastically for the Pirates to remain in the playoff race.

“You like consistency in all areas,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “When you don’t have them, you find another way to get it done. The challenges that the game presents, with your organizational depth can either help you, or performance levels as they spark or falter, you’ve got to adjust accordingly. You always like more consistency everywhere around. We knew there might be some challenges with the personnel. I think overall we’ve done the best we can with what we have, with where we are.”

The Pirates are hoping that prospect Starling Marte can fill that void.

Marte, 23, joined the team in Houston and was activated prior to the game tonight against the Astros. The outfielder will make his Major League debut for the Pirates after posting a .286/.347/.500 line with Triple-A Indianapolis. Marte hit a career-high 12 home runs (tying his total with Double-A Altoona in 2011) while hitting 21 doubles, 13 triples and stealing 21 bases in 33 attempts.

Marte, who has played primarily center field in his professional career, was recently moved to the corner outfield positions to get reps. Due to his speed, his fits well in the Pirates spacious left field at PNC Park, but his strong arm could also give him ample time in right.

One of the reasons for the inconsistency in the corner outfield position has come from Jose Tabata, who was demoted to Triple-A to regain his focus and get back on track. Alex Presley also struggled in 2012, and was sent to Indianapolis to get back on track.

“That’s been a work in progress,” Hurdle said. “We’re trying to help him find that confidence level and that productivity that he experienced last year when he came up. One area of commitment that he’s working on is just covering that ball away much better. I think recently he has showed some patience.”

Presley has hit for a .231/.269/.364 line, and hitting for just a .179 clip over his last 10 games. The outfielder broke camp with the club this season for the first time in his big league career, expecting to be their everyday left fielder, but hasn’t been able to repeat his numbers from last year. In 52 games in 2011, Presley was solid at the top of the lineup finishing with a .298 average, but has struggled at the plate with consistency this season.

“He got on base, led off innings and scored some runs, which is always good to see from the guy at the top of your order,” Hurdle said. “As Alex will tell you, the league punches back. Once you find success, they find ways to counteract that success. He’s been challenged with trying to find his way back.”

“He’s always shown the ability to handle the ball in the middle of the plate. They’re spending a little more time on the outer third and we got to get him to a better place when he strikes that ball, when he swings at it. The soft and the spin, continue to find ways to barrel that up as well. It’s been a challenge for him. It’s one that he’s beating everyday and trying to go out there and improve upon. That’s part of a young player coming up especially with all the other things going on. You’ve got a competitive team winning games. No one out there wants to be the weakest thing at any particular point in time.”

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Michael Bennett dislikes Stafford because of JFK assassination

Tedy Bruschi: Always Feels Good To Beat Cowboys

Kentucky and Duke set for 1st meeting since 2012

Michael Bennett calls out Seahawks owner to pay Kam Chancellor

WATCH: Officials blow call on illegal bat, cost Lions game

Zdeno Chara placed on IR, may not miss any games for Bruins


Auburn WR Duke Williams dismissed from the program

Rapper Luther Campbell's Miami coaching wish list has autocorrected error

Jordan Zimmermann issues farewell to Nationals fans

Zack Kassian suffered injuries in an early morning car accident

NFL looking into why Joe Haden was deactivated

Trent Dilfer rips Jimmy Graham as a blocker

CC Sabathia and a history of Yankees with alcoholism

Why the NL Wild Card Game makes or breaks Chicago

WATCH: Kam Chancellor saves game for Seahawks

Jim McElwain, Florida and the art of culture

Who could be baseball’s next breakout postseason superstar?

WATCH: Seahawks' Russell Wilson refuses to get tackled

Why the Miami Dolphins had to fire Joe Philbin

Understanding Reggie Jackson's contract with Detroit

College football teams missing quality quarterback play

Alley Broussard waiting for Leonard Fournette to break his LSU record

Texas Rangers ups their concessions game for the postseason

What to make of Jameis Winston’s nightmare start

A brief history of Ichiro wanting to pitch

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Texas Rangers ups their concessions game for the postseason

College playoff: Five teams that hurt themselves

College playoff: Five teams that helped themselves

Could this be the Carolina Panthers season?

Michael Irvin: Cowboys have no chance against Patriots Sunday

Melo on requesting a trade: 'Hell no'

Remembering the Angels-Mariners AL West tiebreaker of 1995

Donald Trump: Redskins should keep team name

Redskins got a pregame pep talk from...Matthew McConaughey?

Matt Bonner is about to join an elite group of Spurs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker