The (Tuesday) Windup, Kang mea culpa edition
A couple of weeks ago, when Jung Ho Kang got a couple of starts while Jordy Mercer recovered from that pitch to his chest, I was asked about his chances to become the everyday shortstop.
I essentially put it at zero.
Both I and Pirates brass that felt he had to be brought along slowly — remember, they projected him to be a regular next season — were wrong. Kang’s durability was the last thing Clint Hurdle wanted to check out, but apparently he’s durable enough to make four straight starts — around one off day — at short. …
Tonight’s Interleague lineup v the Twins:
- Polanco RF
- Walker 2B
- McCutchen CF
- Marte LF
- Kang SS
- Alvarez 1B
- Harrison 3B
- Cervelli C
- Liriano 1
This could still be only a phase. Hurdle wants to ride the hot bat. But he also has the guy Mercer) who this past offseason was named MLB’s sixth best shortstop by the MLB Network. …
This is a logjam that may only be broken by an eventual trade. But I still expect Mercer back in the Bucs’ lineup soon. If for no better reason — you get a better return dealing someone out of your lineup than off your bench. …
The Bucs have lost six of Francisco Liriano’s first seven starts, and the dog-eared no-run-support angle doesn’t work so well when noting the losses have included those by the scores of 9-8 and 8-5 — as well as by 1-0 and 2-1.
The last thing the Pirates need is for Liriano to turn into one of those pitchers who always throw just well enough to lose. …
The Astros seem to be playing a different game than anybody else. They’re last in the Majors with a .226 team average and their on-base percentage (.301) is way lower than that of the team with the MLB’s worst record [Oakland] — yet Houston has the AL’s best record. Being No. 1 in homers helps. …
I don’t profess to know how the Marlins’ front office is run, but if its operation is comparable to that of other teams, the most fascinating aspect of Dan Jennings’ move from GM to manager is this: How would you like to find yourself playing for the man who under his previous hat focused on your negatives when negotiating contracts? …