The (Tuesday) Windup, Where’s Jung Ho Edition

The Bucs don’t have a Waldo, but they do have a new daily puzzle: “Where’s Jung Ho?”

Tonight, he’s at shortstop. He’s starting a fourth consecutive game for the first time – giving Jordy Mercer a day off while clearing room for Josh Harrison at third.

Kang has warmed to Major League pitching quicker than anticipated, and this is becoming a big dilemma for Clint Hurdle, tugged in different directions by two things he swears by: Loyalty to his players, and a commitment to field the best lineup possible every day.

Harrison and Mercer figure in the first, and of late Kang definitely plays in the other.

It is almost with a pained expression that Hurdle says, “We continue to look for opportunities to get the best lineup out there that we can today. It’s the way I’ve always felt — even when it may not lineup with other people’s feelings.”

The quandary is not going away any day soon. What if Harrison resumes hitting and playing in the style that earned him a five-year contract after Opening Day? That won’t make the problem go away — just make the daily decisions tougher … 

Tonight’s lineup:

  • Polanco RF
  • Walker 2B
  • McCutchen CF
  • Marte LF
  • Alvarez 3B
  • Kang SS
  • Harrison 3B
  •  Cervelli C
  • Burnett P

Mark Melancon has twice done within the span of three weeks something he had never done before: Earn saves in three consecutive games. … 

Only one player has more than Starling Marte’s 22 RBIs since April 17: Bryce Harper, the guy everyone has been going nuts over lately. … 

Sean O’Sullivan is coming off the Phillies’ DL for Tuesday’s start after making 30 and 57 pitches in a couple of sim games, which is interestingly contrary to the Pirates’ insistence for rehabbing pitchers to stretch out to at least 85 pitches before returning to the wars. … 

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