Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mercer Up, Navarro Down

Well, we knew it was coming - after all, GM Neil Huntington mentioned it during his Sunday radio show and Indy reliever Duke Welker let it out of the bag prematurely on Twitter earlier this afternoon. The Pirates have officially announced that infielder Jordy Mercer has got the call to the show and Yamaico Navarro will go to the Tribe for some steady playing time.

Mercer, 25, was a third-round draft pick in 2008 out of Oklahoma State. Playing primarily as a shortstop, he's also logged considerable time at second and third. He got off to an ice-cold start at the dish this year, but a strong May has brought his average to .303/3/22 with 11 doubles and a .379 OBP. He's considered a decent fielder and a gap hitter, with 30+ doubles in four straight seasons..

Navarro, 24, came to Pittsburgh from KC in exchange for Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris during the off season. He's played second, third, short, left and right, but was hitting just .178 off the bench in his third MLB season.

The sidebar: it's popularly believed that Mercer is slated for a utility role in Pittsburgh, taking Navarro's former role. And that may be. But it would make more sense to use him as a challenger of Clint Barmes, especially if Josh Harrison and Garrett Jones are going to split time in right field. Might as well find out whatcha got, right?

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