Hey! Keep JHay in there.
I’m glad I don’t have to made the decision. But, if I did, it’d be, “Josh Harrison, grab a bat. Pedro Alvarez, grab some bench.”
Right now, there is no way I would have a lineup that includes Alvarez and not Harrison.
The subject obviously comes up today in St. Petersburg, because Neil Walker comes off the DL. Harrison has been playing his position. Before that, Harrison played right field, now Gregory Polanco’s position.
Well, not so much today as in a couple of days — when the Bucs won’t have a DH to accomodate an extra bat.
Starling Marte getting hit twice by pitches on Monday — the second, a nasty smack on his left wrist — makes me suspect manager Clint Hurdle will have an excuse for making room for both Harrison and Alvarez.
If not, right now I can’t justify playing Alvarez over Harrison, that simple. Alvarez smacked a big three-run homer last night. He picked up his first RBIs since June 7. Since then, Harrison has 8 RBIs. Harrison has laid out at whatever position he he has played, pairing excellent defense with the .308 bat he has carried since becoming a rotating regular.
In addition to keeping Harrison in the Pirates lineup, I would add him to the National League All-Star team, to extend Mike Matheny’s bench. Not so outrageous: Versatility has gotten recent players to the Midsummer Classic (most notably, Ben Zobrist in 2009 ), and Harrison rates as well as any.