Pirates Reinstate Walker, Option Jordy Mercer

Neil Walker has been reinstated from the 15-day DL. Photo credit: David Hague

Neil Walker has been reinstated from the 15-day DL. Photo credit: David Hague

The Pittsburgh Pirates have reinstated Neil Walker from the 15-day disabled list, and have optioned Jordy Mercer to Triple-A. We all saw this move coming, and I made my thoughts known on the subject last night. And the night before. And in the podcast. And last week.

John McDonald remains on the Pirates roster.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • leadoff

    Not a shocker!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.brooks.581 Stephen Brooks

    Indefensible. Even if Mercer were to go 0-fer-May and McDonald elected free agency, you have IDJ and (soon) Chase d’Arnaud at Indy who could do no worse.

    The net difference between McDonald and Mercer over the remainder of the season might be slight (even throwing in the added ABs that Inge gets), and likely not enough to matter in the Bucs’ quest for a playoff spot – or even a .500 record – but the rationale behind it is revealing of something much more concerning: is the brain trust really trying to win? And if they are, do they know how?

    • leadoff

      I think the “trying to win thing” is a little overboard. In case you have not noticed they are winning and they are competing and they are trying to win, this has nothing to do with trying to win. They had solid reasons for sending Mercer back and they had solid reasons for keeping him in the majors, they know more than I do.
      I am convinced in their minds he is not a SS and if he is not a SS then going down was the right move.

      • Y2JGQ2

        That makes no sense- the only reason to send him down would be because he IS a SS…. because they don’t want him being a util player….

  • ianmonk

    Dumb move, I see the reasoning but it’s nincompoopery to the highest form.

  • jg941


  • MaineBucs


    I was glad to see the Pirates move on from Sanchez so early. Despite the monies owed him management correctly determined that he failed to perform and that the team had better alternatives.

    The same logic should have occurred today. For a whole host of reasons Mercer is a much better option than MacDonald, but management chose to stick with the lesser player.

    So — This move essentially means the team is down to 3 pinch-hitters. McKenry typically won’t pinch-hit, particularly with Martin hurting, and MacDonald rarely will be used as a pinch-hitter because he can’t hit. Going with a bench with only 3 pinch-hitters is not a good idea.

    Again — disappointing.

  • tjsabec

    What I think the FO is considering that maybe we aren’t is: What happens if Clint Barmes has to be DLed. If that happens, I don’t think they are comfortable without McDonald on the roster. I am not supporting this position, but i’d say it it where they are coming from.

    • http://battlingbucs.wordpress.com battlingbucs

      Could be close to that but I think its more like if Barmes goes on the DL they aren’t comfortable with _________ as the backup to Mercer. I’m honestly not sure who goes in the blank there. I guess Harrison but we know he isn’t a shortstop.

      • tjsabec

        Yea, exactly what i meant, but you put it more clearly.

        • joe g.

          You and BB hit it on the head. Hurdle doesn’t want to give up an asset when Mercer has options. They can always bring him back up. Meanwhile he gets every day reps. Do I like it? No, but I understand it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/vince.riedy Vince Riedy

      Maybe they are waiting for D’Arnaud to get healthy before getting rid McDonald so they would have a plus defender in case anything happens to Barmes. Harrison is not a good fielding shortstop to say the least and DeJesus while a fine hitter, is even worse than Harrison in the field.

      • Ecbucs

        that could be but a couple years ago the team was not at all satisfied by D’Arnaud’s play at short and they were willing to play Harrison at short for quite a few games last year.

        I think Hurdle’s statement is what the team believes. It doesn’t want to give up an asset even though he isn’t much of an asset. What I don’t understand is what did they see in McDonald in spring training to think he was going to be better than he has been? He just looks over matched. I could see him (or Inge) gone and replaced by Mercer in a couple of weeks. With both Inge and McDonald on current 25 man roster I just don’t see the point in waiting.

  • dr dng

    Remember, I am not an expert on this like most of you guys,
    but I have a question. Ok, Mercer goes back to Indy and hits
    .325 with 16 hr. Now midnight on Sept 1 rolls around. He knows
    he is packing his bag for Pittsburgh. Does he sit the month of
    Sept on the bench or do they play him in a race for a playoff spot?

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