The Pirates called up Jordy Mercer this afternoon and demoted Yamaico Navarro to make room for him. Mercer’s minor league career kind of resembles The Little Engine That Could to me; he never seemed like much of a prospect until maybe a year ago and since then he’s just kind of been plugging along, moving from level to level. His defense has always been good, though, and last year he had a big power surge and this year he’s finally taking some walks, hitting .303/.379/.413 with Indianapolis. He’s not a Starlin Castro-like prospect, but it’s hard to imagine his offense can be worse than what we’ve seen from Clint Barmes this far, and his glove will be better than Josh Harrison’s at short. He won’t play tonight, but I imagine that he’ll get the starts at short that Josh Harrison is getting now and if he plays well, he’ll see the field more regularly.
The Pirates have a chance to pull within two games of the Reds tonight, with Charlie Morton taking the mound against Homer Bailey. Bailey’s gotten lit up a few times in 2012 and he’s got a bit of a home run problem, though the home run problem is generally localized to Great American Ballpark. He’s capable of racking up big strikeout totals, which makes him dangerous to the Pirates. Morton got lit up by the Reds pretty badly earlier this month, but he’s been better since then. Hopefully he’s getting his sinker back on track.
The first pitch tonight is at 7:05.