Infielder Jordy Mercer, who was recalled yesterday from Triple-A Indianapolis, will make his first Major League start today against the Cincinnati Reds. Mercer will bat second and play shortstop for the Bucs.
Yesterday, Mercer talked about getting the call to the Majors and his success while playing in Triple-A. The infielder had his first big league at-bat last night in the eighth inning. Mercer grounded to short on a 0-1 pitch against the Reds starter Homer Bailey.
“I have the same conversation with all the players,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said prior to batting practice. “Just fear nothing. Respect everything. The game’s the same. You’ve got another deck. You’ve got more people to talk to. You have a better clubhouse. You’re playing on a better field. But at the end of the day, it’s going out and applying the game that he’s been playing since he was six.”
“I always try to get them in early, give them an at-bat because they’ve got to process the adrenaline. They’ve got to feel some things that only they can feel. So you give them the at-bat last night, and I look forward to always getting them a start because that will be new. Have some fun with it and we’ll go from there. I’m looking forward to seeing him out there tonight.”
- Right-hander A.J. Burnett will make his eighth start of the season tonight. In seven career starts at PNC Park, Burnett has gone 3-1 with a 1.71 ERA.
- The Bucs enter tonight’s action with a 14-13 record in May, the most wins in the month since posting a 15-13 record in 2008 (Also their last winning May).
- Pirates lineup: Tabata 7, Mercer 6, McCutchen 8, Alvarez 5, Walker 4, Jones 9, Hague 3, Barajas 2, Burnett 1
- Reds lineup: Cozart 6, Stubbs 8, Bruce 9, Phillips 4, Heisey 7, Frazier 5, Costanzo 3, Hanigan 2, Cueto 1