PITTSBURGH - Once the Opening Day starter at first base for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jeff Clement is back with the big club for the first time since that 2010 season.
The Pirates selected Clement's contract from their Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis Indians prior to Friday night's game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Clement was hitting .276 with 16 home runs, 57 RBIs and an International League-best 35 doubles in 112 games with Indianapolis prior to Friday's call-up. The former No. 3 overall draft pick of the Seattle Mariners will make his first major league appearance since Aug. 20, 2010, with the Pirates.
Clement had microfracture surgery on his left knee that September and played only 31 games between two minor league levels in 2011.
"To think where I was a year ago, just coming off rehab, to having a solid year in Triple-A and getting back here (to Pittsburgh) ... it's everything I'd hoped it would be," Clement told Tom Singer of MLB.com. "I'm excited by the opportunity."
Clement, 29, has hit just .154 (6-for-39) with a solo home run in his last 10 games with Indianapolis.
"I definitely haven't been swinging as consistently well," Clement added, "but the balls I have been squaring up just haven't found holes. It's baseball; it happens in a long season. But my swing has been a lot better the last few days."
His 2010 tour with the Pirates included a .201 batting average with seven home runs and 12 RBIs in 54 games. Clement, a 2002 Marshalltown High School graduate, has a career. 223 batting average in 129 games in the majors.
"We felt Jeff was as good a candidate to give us a left-handed bat off the bench as anything that was available externally," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I think he'll be a tough guy to get out."