Clint Hurdle is making strides as a manager in that he’s not sticking with a struggling veteran whom he pushed very hard to sign two off-seasons ago. Jordy Mercer (.289 – 3 HR – 6 RBI) will start at shortstop tonight vs the Cincinnati Reds for the fifth time in six games and Hurdle told reporters prior to the game that Mercer has earned the reps to play over Clint Barmes.
“Mercer is going to get some reps here because of the quality of the (defense), and the way he is swinging the bat,” Hurdle said via Travis Sawchuk of the Tribune-Review. “I’ve spoken to Clint as well so he doesn’t wonder when he’s coming in. “It’s playing the guy that is obviously taking care of both sides of the ball very professionally,” Hurdle said.
Barmes is hitting .198 with 2 home runs and 10 RBIs. The 34 year old is in the second year of a two year, $11 million contract. Hurdle was the main figure in the organization who pushed hard to sign Barmes in the winter of 2011.
The Pirates enter tonight’s action in third place in the NL Central with a 41-28 record.