Pirates designate OF McLouth for assignment
PITTSBURGH (AP) Veteran outfielder Nate McLouth signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the offseason in hopes of finishing the rebuilding project he helped start when he made the All-Star team with the club back in 2008.
McLouth's bat never cooperated.
The Pirates designated McLouth for assignment on Friday and recalled infielder Matt Hague in hopes of injecting some life into their listless offense, which ranks last in the National League in batting average (.217) and last in baseball in runs (126). McLouth, who signed a one-year deal worth $1.75 million in the offseason was hitting just .140 and had gone hitless in his last 20 at bats.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said the team offered to send McLouth to Triple-A Indianapolis to give him a chance to work out his problems but McLouth is "going to see it through another way."
"He's not the reason our offense has not produced the way we felt it would produce," Hurdle said. "There's no one man tied to this ... he gave us everything we had and he feels at least good about the effort as I do, and the effort, just nobody's satisfied with the outcome."
McLouth spent four-plus seasons with the Pirates after coming up as a rookie in 2005, becoming a fan favorite and leading the National League in doubles in 2008 before being traded to Atlanta in 2009, where injuries limited his effectiveness.
The decision gives Hague another chance in Pittsburgh. He smacked seven home runs during spring training and went 1 for 9 with two RBIs in five games to start the season before being sent down. Hague hit .278 in Triple-A Indianapolis with one homer and 15 RBI in 36 games.
The 26-year-old Hague had a busy 24 hours, getting the game-winning hit in the 15th inning for Indianapolis on Thursday before being promoted. Hurdle wasted little time putting Hague on the field, putting him at first base for Friday night's game against the Chicago Cubs.
"We are going to try and get him some at-bats there, give him some time at first base to string some things together to see if it can generate some offense," Hurdle said. "He's had a pretty consistent last 10 games or so, and he's definitely excited to be here."
Updated May 25, 2012