Mercer went 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run Monday against the Cardinals. Mercer joined the home-run parade Monday, as he hit one of five long balls for Detroit. He's off to a decent start to spring and is now 4-for-15 with a home run, an RBI and two runs scored, although he's best known for his defensive play.
Mercer agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million deal with Detroit on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of FancredSports reports. Mercer has found a new home after spending the past decade within the Pirates' organization. The 32-year-old should slot in as the starter at shortstop on the strength of his defensive acumen. Across 117 games this past season, Mercer slashed .251/.315/.381 with six home runs, 39 RBI and two stolen bases.
Mercer (forearm) is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds. The veteran shortstop exited Saturday's contest prematurely after being hit on the arm by a batted ball, and it seems like the Pirates will play things safe and keep him out of the final game of the season. Unless he manages to make a pinch-hit appearance, Mercer will end the season with a .696 OPS, six homers and 39 RBI, all of which are his lowest marks since 2015. Kevin Newman will take over at shortstop for the season finale.
Mercer left Saturday's game against the Reds with forearm discomfort after being struck by a batted ball. The injury didn't appear serious -- though he was struck by 102-mph groundball -- and Mercer's removal was described as precautionary. In fact, he remained in the game and batted twice before leaving. With the year nearly over, however, even a one-game absence would spell the end of Mercer's season.
Mercer is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Cardinals. Mercer has started just four games in September as the Pirates have been giving prospect Kevin Newman his fair share of opportunities with the team out of playoff contention. Newman will once again start in his place Tuesday, hitting eighth.