MILWAUKEE -- Although the Pirates were unable to make a deal with first-round pick Mark Appel before Friday's 5 p.m. ET deadline, they did successfully land their eighth-round selection, infielder Kevin Ross.Ranked as the No. 225 prospect by Baseball America entering the draft, Ross batted .452 with two home runs at Niles West High School in Illinois. Ross was selected as a Rawlings preseason Central All-Region first-teamer before his senior year after posting a .436 average, 30 RBIs, four home runs and 16 steals as a junior. The Pirates also announced the signings of infielder Max Moroff (16th round) and right-handed pitchers Hayden Hurst (17th round) and John Kuchno (18th round) on Friday. In all, Pittsburgh signed 20 of the 41 players the organization selected in June's Draft.
McGehee uses break to rest balky groin
MILWAUKEE -- The timing of the All-Star break was convenient for Pirates infielder Casey McGehee.After leaving the last game before the break with a mild left-groin strain, McGehee was able to go without missing any extra time, as he was back in the starting lineup at first base for Friday's second-half opener against the Brewers. "It was a good time to take a couple days to let some little aches and pains and stuff kind of heal up," McGehee said. "But you're going to have stuff like that through the course of the season. You're never going to feel quite 100 percent this far into the season, but the four days definitely did me good." McGehee agitated his groin hitting a two-run single against San Francisco last Sunday. He buckled on the swing and limped out of the batter's box before being taken out of the game. He was 3-for-4 on the day before leaving the game, and the former Brewer was batting .252 with six homers and 29 RBIs entering Friday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said the training staff tested McGehee during a workout on Thursday night, and all signs indicated that he was ready to go on Friday. "It felt like I was moving pretty good," McGehee said. "So we'll give it a go."
Presley set to begin rehab assignment
MILWAUKEE -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said outfielder Alex Presley will be sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday as he recovers from concussion-like symptoms.Presley jarred his head making an attempt at a diving catch on July 3, and he was placed on the seven-day disabled list. He's since participated in "strenuous" workouts, and Hurdle said he expects Presley to rejoin the team for the Rockies series, which starts on Monday. Hurdle said Presley, who batted .242 in 60 games before the injury, simply needs at-bats and a little field work to be ready for a return to the Pirates. "It's best served to get him out and get him on the field," Hurdle said. "This way we can use the opportunity to use up to five games. To be down seven, eight days without any game speed and limited activity until the last couple days, he's all for it."
Pirates infielder Neil Walker entered Friday on a 12-game hitting streak, which was highlighted by a five-hit performance in the last game before the All-Star break. Although the break interrupted his hot streak, he said he welcomed the rest and hopes it doesn't matter."I think anybody that is hot in this game of baseball would tell you that you want to ride that thing out as long as you can," he said. "I certainly wasn't upset that the days off were coming for the All-Star Game, because you know how important those days are as an everyday player. But a little part of me wanted to keep it rolling." The Pirates will look to win their eighth straight series against a division opponent this weekend against the Brewers. It's the longest such streak in the Majors this season.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.