The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated third baseman Brandon Inge, and have him in tonight’s lineup at third base. Inge was recently on a rehab assignment in Indianapolis, batting for a .150/.320/.283 line in 60 at-bats. The Pirates are going up against left-hander Cole Hamels tonight. Inge has done well in his career against left-handers, while Pedro Alvarez has not. It’s probably too early to say that the Pirates are platooning Alvarez, but that seems to be the only reason to put Inge in the lineup right away. He wasn’t really doing well against left-handers in Triple-A, and doesn’t seem to provide much of an upgrade over guys like Josh Harrison or Jordy Mercer. The only thing he has is veteran presence, which the Pirates have plenty of, and some pop in his bat in previous years, which they could get from other internal options who look better than Inge both in the short-term and long-term.
To make room for Inge, Alex Presley has been optioned to Triple-A.