Mercado will start in right field and bat seventh Wednesday against the Athletics. After starting in his MLB debut last week, Mercado's role with the big club looked somewhat uncertain after he was benched for the subsequent two contests. Fortunately for those that scooped him up in fantasy leagues, Mercado's playing-time outlook seems to have stabilized, as he'll pick up a fifth straight start Wednesday after going 5-for-13 with three doubles over the prior four contests. The Indians also designated Carlos Gonzalez for assignment prior to the series finale, clearing the way for Mercado and Jordan Luplow to man the corner-outfield spots on a regular basis until Tyler Naquin (calf) and/or Bradley Zimmer (side) return from the injured list.
Mercado went 2-for-3 with a double, walk, two runs and an RBI in Sunday's 10-0 win over the Orioles. Utilized as a bench player in two of his first three games with the big club, Mercado rejoined lineup for the series finale and made a good case for sticking as an everyday player. The 24-year-old showed his full range of skills and would have chipped in a stolen base had he not slid off second base and gotten tagged. At the very least, the right-handed Mercado should pick up another start in Monday's series opener against the Athletics with a lefty (Brett Anderson) on the hill for the opposition.
Mercado is not in the lineup Thursday against the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. Mercado will sit against right-hander Dan Straily after going 0-for-3 with a trio of strikeouts and a run scored in his big-league debut Tuesday against the White Sox. Jordan Luplow is starting in right field and hitting seventh in his place Thursday.
The Indians officially called up Mercado from Triple-A Columbus ahead of Tuesday's game against the White Sox. He'll start in left field and bat sixth in his MLB debut, per Scott Merkin of MLB.com. Mercado earned his first promotion to the big leagues after batting .294 with 15 extra-base hits and an International League-leading 14 steals in 30 games with Columbus. The Tribe placed Tyler Naquin (calf) on the 10-day injured list in a corresponding move, with his absence for at least the next week and a half expected to pave the way for Mercado to handle an everyday role with the big club immediately. Given that Naquin (.287 wOBA, 81 wRC+) and two other regulars at outfield/designated hitter in Carlos Gonzalez (.254 wOBA, 52 wRC+) and Jake Bauers (.292 wOBA, 77 wRC+) have all been well below league-average performers this season, Mercado may not necessarily need to dominate right off the bat to stick as a full-time player once Naquin is healthy again.
Mercado is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Columbus, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports. Mercado is joining the Indians in Chicago and is expected to replace Tyler Naquin (calf) -- who is likely headed to the injured list -- on the roster. The 24-year-old Mercado has impressed through 30 games with Columbus, slashing .294/.396/.496 with four homers and 14 stolen bases, and could carve out a role for himself with the big club if he's able to hit the ground running.