Jordy Mercer is in the house
Infielder Jordy Mercer brings a hot bat from Indianapolis. The Pirates recalled their 3rd round pick in the 2008 Draft before Tuesday’s game, hoping his bat doesn’t cool in transit. Mercer was carrying a .358 May average with the Indians and at .303 ranked as the International League’s eighth-best hitter.
Those numbers are a far cry from what the Pirates have been getting at Mercer’s primary position, shortstop. Through Monday, Pittsburgh’s shortstop were hitting a collective .175, with nine RBIs.
One of the three who has logged some time at short — Yamaico Navarro — was the player optioned to Indianapolis to make room for Mercer. Is another, Clint Barmes, also on the way out?
No chance. Mercer, who will be making his Major League debut, isn’t here to take anyone’s job but to provide back-up. With Josh Harrison having made a home for himself in right field, the Bucs needed someone to cover his super-utility role, someone with a livelier bat than Navarro’s.
As popular as it has become to boo Barmes, his defense has been at least a small factor in the Pirates’ pitching successes — particularly behind ground-ball pitchers, such as Charlie Morton, who goes against the Reds tonight. And Barmes has been driving the ball a lot better of late.