It goes without saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been a disappointment throughout the first eight weeks of the 2014 season.
It also goes without saying that shortstop Jordy Mercer has been one of the more disappointing players wearing a Pirates uniform this season.
Entering a season for the first time in his career as a starter, a lot was expected from Mercer, who showed some signs in 2013 of being competent with the bat. However that hasn’t been the case this season as Mercer has looked more like a player that should be ticketed for the minors rather than a guy who should have his name penciled into the lineup on most nights.
When Mercer isn’t hitting, it is hard to make a case that his lack of range defensively should be in the lineup ahead of Clint Barmes.
But the slow start for Mercer could be a thing of the past.
Mercer boasts only a .209/.254./.291 line on the season with only one homer and six RBI. His.545 OPS is abysmal, but actually has increased almost 100 points in the past six days.
That’s a six-day span that has given some life to the thought that Mercer is capable of being an everyday guy.
During that span Mercer has hit .391 (9-for-23) and has looked much better at the plate, other than one bad at bat when he grounded into a game-ending double play against the St. Cardinals.
However take Mercer’s success eve further back and in the month of May he has hit .273/.304/.455. That is after an abysmal April that saw Mercer put up a .175/.232/.190 (not a typo) line. Mercer’s .759 OPS in May dwarfs the lowly .422 number he put up in April.
Like most players in the Pirates dugout, April was not kind to Mercer and like most Pirates player’s Mercer is showing serious signs of heating up.
It’s gotten to the point that Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle has even experimented with moving Mercer up in the lineup as of late, batting as high as sixth on Thursday.
Mercer is far from a finished product and his glove still leaves a little bit to be desired, but he is starting to hit the ball and that is exactly what he is put in the lineup to do.
If he continues to heat up as the weather heats up, this could turn into a pretty good summer for Mercer.
If it does, the shortstop position could turn into one less thing the Pirates front office has to worry about.
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