McLouth Looking to Bounce Back From Rough Couple of Years

BRADENTON — Since getting traded to the Atlanta Braves in July of 2009, Nate McLouth hasn’t played like the All-Star center fielder and Gold Glove winner that Pittsburgh saw during the 2008 season.

But this year, McLouth is making sure that will change.

After several trips to the disabled list last season and having to undergo sports hernia surgery in August, McLouth played in just 81 games with the Braves.

“I was injured last year and had surgery, so I was in the process of rehabbing that last season,” said McLouth, who is looking to bounce back.

This offseason, McLouth signed with the Pirates to a one-year deal in December, reuniting with the team that not only drafted him, but where he found success.

“I’m happy to be back,” McLouth said. “It’s a place that I played a lot of years, I kind of grew up here, came out of high school. I was here my whole career until 2009. It’s great to be back.”

With just a few days into spring training, it’s still too early to determine how much starting time McLouth will see this season. With Andrew McCutchen in center and Alex Presley and Jose Tabata in left and right field, McLouth becomes a solid bench option, and another speedy outfielder in the mix.

“It’s too early to think about that now,” McLouth said of his role. ” I’m just excited to get going, and get back here.”

McLouth said he hasn’t been working on anything different this offseason, just looking to stay healthy and bounce back.

“I’m just looking to bounce back from a couple rough years. There’s no place I’d rather do it than here.”

  • Nate has always been excellent off the bench. His previous success off the bench is what propelled him to become the all-star regular centerfielder he had become at the time of his trade to the Braves.
    I know it was a shock to Nate when he was traded, and after growing up in the Pirates system did not take well to all the changes of moving to a new city with players he didn’t know.
    I think getting back to this park is the best thing that could have happened for him. He is still in his baseball prime, and I like having him here to pinch hit and ready to step in for any injury. If anyone in the outfield falters, he could take over, and injuries always come, so I’m sure he’ll get a good share of at bats this season. 

  • McClouth gives the Pirates much needed veteran depth. Neal made a lot of transactions over the winter addressing depth.

    It is too bad the Pirates get so much publicity about players that don’t want to play for the Pirates, but not that much about the players that are happy to be playing for the Pirates.