Mercer hit leadoff Friday against a right-handed pitcher for the first time in his career, going 0-for-4, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Manager Clint Hurdle explained that he wanted to move John Jaso out of the top spot. "I'm trying to leave John in a different scenario, and I'm looking for a different guy to plug in (at leadoff)," Hurdle said. "I was much more drawn to Mercer than anybody else." Mercer, who saw his six-game hitting streak end Friday, carries a .345 OBP versus righties and a .398 OPS mark against southpaws.
Mercer went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in Friday's 5-1 loss to the Nationals. The veteran shortstop opened the scoring with a run-scoring single in the fifth that plated Starling Marte, which would turn out to be the only run the Pirates were able to score against a dominant Stephen Strasburg. Mercer has hit safely in eight of 11 July games, and is slashing a solid .270/.357/.378 on the season.
Mercer went 2-for-4 with his fifth homer Friday in Oakland. Look for the Bucs to bat Mercer leadoff Saturday against lefty Rich Hill. The shortstop is batting .305 with a .939 OPS off southpaws in 2016.
Mercer is in the lineup Monday against the Dodgers, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports. Mercer took an inadvertent knee to the head while sliding into second base during Sunday night's game against the Dodgers and left the game with discomfort in his head and ear. Initially, it looked as though Mercer may have sustained a concussion, but that ultimately was not the case, and he'll return to his usual spot at shortstop Monday.
Mercer was removed from Sunday's game against the Dodgers to due discomfort in his head and right ear, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports. Mercer extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a lead-off single, but then took a knee to the side of the head while being thrown out at second on a fielder's choice. Adam Frazier replaced Mercer in the lineup, with Sean Rodriguez shifting from right field to shortstop. Given the nature of the injury, Mercer may have been evaluated for a concussion. With Gregory Polanco (leg) also uncertain for Monday's game against Los Angeles, the versatile Frazier might get his first MLB start.