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? …


Tom- Guess we have your answer (so far) re Liriano?!
Highlight of the game- Pedro hitting it into the boat on the river.
But it opens up some interesting questions. What does maritime law state about an individual boarding a vessel and removing an item without permission of the captain or owner?! Is it considered theft or “Piracy” (pardon the pun)?! Is the intruder liable for any damage caused to the vessel after he can’t remove his bulbous behind himself and his wife has to slam the vessel into the dock to get him out?
Always new issues to consider when it comes to our Buccos.

Clint Hurdle has been recognized as one of the great and inspirational leaders in baseball the last few years. Kudos well earned.
But as they say on Wall Street, you’re only as good as your last trade.
My old battery mate Ernie and I have determined several things, and only because we choose to invest the time to care so much (so far):
1. Clint, it’s great you are a player’s manager, and such an inspirational gent. But as they teach in Parenting 101, you are the leader, and not only their friend. You have to be able to instill a little fear, even amongst multi million dollar Prima Donnas.
2. You should have jerked Marte Tuesday night after that lazy play, and benched him tonite. For him, for his teammates, for the fans.
3. Leave your pitchers in as long as they are doing well. Your incessant changes have led to many losses.

Clint, it starts at the top, and your decision making process is screwing up. This ain’t a popularity contest, it’s a World Series run. Big contracts are not a playing time entitlement program. HE WHO HITS AND HUSTLES PLAYS.

Interesting commentary by our announcers Wednesday nite re JHa’s remarkable comeback, comparing it to last year.
Has nothing to do with last year. Has everything to do with Kang making him poop his pants and JHa being smart enough to know he will perform or ride the pines.
For the Mets series, Hurdle should give Mercer a chance one more time at short, and move Kang to second. Walker needs the same wake up call.
Also, put Tabata in left for a while, as Marte looks like he needs a rest to recreate his sense of urgency…

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