ARLINGTON -- The Twins officially recalled outfielder Alex Presley from Triple-A on Sunday, the day after the club acquired him in the trade that sent Justin Morneau to the Pirates.
Presley, who was the first of Minnesota's September callups, also made his Twins debut, leading off and playing in center field. He made an immediate splash, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to help lead the Twins to a 4-2 victory.
Presley said he's excited for a chance to make an impact with his new club, and he's expected to see plenty of time in center and atop the batting order this month. It'll be a welcome change for Presley, who was up and down between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis this year and saw his time in center blocked by Pirates star Andrew McCutchen.
"It's always important when you get the opportunity to contribute and play well," Presley said. "Going into next season, this could be a good springboard for me. I'm looking to take advantage of this opportunity."
Presley, 28, had a .298/.376/.427 line with five homers, 17 doubles, six triples and 17 stolen bases in 89 games at Triple-A this year.
He can play all three outfield positions, and has appeared in 204 career games with the Pirates, hitting .261/.299/.419, which is a step below his career .309/.377/.460 line in 285 games at Triple-A. But next year will be a big one for him, as Twins general manager Terry Ryan confirmed he'll be out of Minor League options.
Presley said it was an honor being traded for a player as popular as Morneau, but said he's not going to try too much or press as a result of being traded for such a big-name player.
"He's well-liked in Minnesota, but I don't feel any pressure coming in," Presley said. "He's a great player and I'm sure he'll do well in Pittsburgh. So I'll try my best to take advantage of this opportunity."
Pinto starts at catcher in Major League debut
ARLINGTON -- Catcher Josmil Pinto made his Major League debut against the Rangers on Sunday, catching right-hander Kevin Correia and batting eighth.
Pinto made his debut count, picking up his first Major League hit with an RBI double in the fifth inning and finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Pinto, 24, had an impressive year between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester, hitting a combined .309/.400/.482 with 15 homers and 74 RBIs in 126 games.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Pinto still has some kinks to work out defensively, but that he wants to see what he can do in his first stint in the Majors.
"From what we saw in Spring Training, he handled everybody," Gardenhire said. "So it's fun. It's his first Major League ballgame. So it doesn't get any better than that."
Pinto, a native of Valencia, Venezuela, said he is excited about the chance to see more playing time with the Twins this September.
"I'm thrilled," Pinto said through translator and Twins first baseman Chris Colabello. "I'm looking forward to being able to help the team any way I can."
Mauer making progress toward return
ARLINGTON -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer continues to make good progress in his recovery from a concussion suffered on Aug. 19, when he was hit by a foul tip while catching.
Mauer has been ramping up his workouts and has been hitting off a tee, and he hasn't had any setbacks yet. There's a chance he will be ready to return once the Twins get back from their road trip on Friday, but Twins general manager Terry Ryan wasn't ready to speculate on Sunday.
"It's probably a tad early, but that would be ideal," Ryan said. "But it's premature and wrong of me to say that. But he's doing better."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was also pleased to hear the positive reports on Mauer, who has been on the 7-day concussion disabled list since Aug. 20.
"He's doing great," Gardenhire said. "Everything is going really good. He's done everything they've asked without setbacks. But will he be available when we get home? I don't know."