By Matt Popchock

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — At 70-47 the Pirates have been a great team, but they are not necessarily a deep one, so fans surely breathed a sigh of relief when the team announced today left fielder Starling Marte will not go on the disabled list.

Instead, to make room for power-hitting right fielder Andrew Lambo, the Pirates have sent reserve right fielder Alex Presley back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

The Pirates’ Major League roster now stands at the 40-player limit.

Marte was hit by a pitch for the 19th time this year–the second-most in the National League–late in Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Marte left the game and did not bat Sunday, but he tweeted late Saturday evening his injury was not serious.

His continued presence will be of great value to the already offensively-challenged Pirates, who struggled from their leadoff spot until this, Marte’s first full big-league season. He is among the National League’s top five with 33 stolen bases, and his 125 hits from the top of the Pirates’ order were the most by any NL leadoff man entering Monday.

Despite only taking 24 walks thus far, Marte has found ways to fill his role effectively, sharing the Major League lead in triples with nine, and ranking in the NL’s top ten with 75 runs scored, with an OPS of .782.

Presley, in just 29 games with the big club in 2013, has scraped together a .264 average, two homers, and four RBI, striking out 18 times and walking once. While splitting duties between left and right field, he also delivered a pinch-hit walk-off single July 30 against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park that gave the Bucs their present lead in the NL Central Division.

In 76 minor-league games with the Indians, Presley has hit .277 with a .768 OPS while scoring 49 runs, driving in 26, stealing 16 bases, homering five times, and doubling 13.

Look for Lambo to wear No. 57 when he makes his 2013 Pirate debut during the team’s three-game set with the Cardinals (67-50) at Busch Stadium. The series opener gets underway at 8:15 EDT Tuesday on your flagship home for Pirates baseball, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan.


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