Alvarez is replaced by
Walker's absence requires shifts at all other infield positions.
For the second-consecutive season,
"That's what we worked last year, the mental part of it first, and then we got into the physical glitch or the mechanical glitch," Hurdle said. "It's similar in some areas, very similar in some areas. We've got to get his hands to work better."
Mercer is hitting .171 in 111 at-bats this season and Hurdle hopes giving Mercer a few games off will help him correct his swing.
"If we've got a mechanical situation where our hands aren't going where we want them to go, why?" Hurdle said. "What are you trying to do? What are you trying to generate? Are you trying to generate power, are you trying to generate lift?"
Mercer is hitting just .176, with a .434 OPS.
"We feel he's getting closer to some things," manager Clint Hurdle said, per MLB.com. "There's only one way to find out how close you are or where you are, that's to get back in a game environment and see. We'll take it one day at a time."
"We told [Mercer] before the weekend started that he would get it off. We had a plan coming in," said Hurdle. "We'll figure it out as we go. I know the dynamic of working with Jung Ho, getting him more playing time. We'll see where it takes us."
Mercer is hitting just .176 with eight RBI in 108 at-bats on the season. Meanwhile, Kang is showing Hurdle a little more pop at the plate.
"They are different defenders. I compare Jung Ho to a Jhonny Peralta type," said Hurdle. "Jordy probably has more lateral range, and more experience with positioning, and the only way Jung Ho will get that is by continuing to go out there and get those reps. Both have very, very accurate arms."
Hurdle continues to say both will see even time for now.
"It doesn't benefit anyone for me to get ahead of myself," the manager said. "We'll continue to look for the best lineup we can put out there daily. Situations will present themselves. The game gives guys opportunities to do things.
"We'll see, I don't have a crystal ball. I do know Jordy will continue to work and to prepare himself. He is a very good defender and player who has shown us he will try to find his way back on the offensive side of the ball."
Kang got off to a slow start in his first season since coming over from Japan. Through April 28, he was batting just .189 with zero home runs and four RBI. But, since a three-hit game on April 29, Kang has been one of the hotter hitters in baseball. In that 11 game stretch, he is hitting .371, while splitting time between shortstop and third base.
So, if the Pirates have indeed seen enough from Mercer and his .183 batting average, Kang would seem to be a logical everyday replacement.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|5/25/2015 vs Miami|
|vs Simon (Career)||14||3||1||.429||.313||.214|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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