Mercado went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a double Thursday in Triple-A Columbus' 4-0 win over Norfolk.
One of the hottest batters in the international League, Mercado is riding an 11-game hitting streak during which he's compiled nine doubles, two home runs and one triple to go with four steals. The breakout has lifted Mercado's season OPS to 1.059 and could soon earn the 24-year-old consideration for a promotion. With both Tyler Naquin and Jake Bauers currently languishing in everyday roles in the outfield and fourth outfielder Greg Allen best suited as a defensive replacement, Mercado might rank as one of the top alternatives if manager Terry Francona decides to shake up the lineup.
Mercado was diagnosed with a bruised wrist after he was hit by a pitch Saturday while playing with Triple-A Columbus, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona relayed that the outfield prospect didn't require any X-rays after exiting Saturday's game and apparently avoided a sprain, too. Mercado could still miss a few contests while he manages soreness, but a lengthy absence doesn't appear to be in store for the 24-year-old, who had posted a .722 OPS through eight games in the International League.
Mercado left Saturday's Triple-A game against Durham after being hit by a pitch on the hand.
The severity of Mercado's injury is not yet known, but it's a potentially worrying development for the young outfielder. The 24-year-old has gotten off to a slow start for the Clippers by slashing .241/.371/.276 with 12 strikeouts in 29 at-bats.
Mercado was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday, Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Mercado showcased himself fantastically in spring training as he slashed .400/.415/.750 with three home runs in 40 at-bats. The 24-year-old was unable to crack the Opening Day roster, but has put himself in a prime position to make his MLB debut in 2019.
Mercado is out of the lineup for Thursday's Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports.
Mercado will get a breather a day after going 2-for-2 with a home run, a stolen base and two runs in the Tribe's 6-1 exhibition victory over the Dodgers. The 24-year-old has been great this spring with eight hits -- including two home runs and a triple -- in 20 at-bats, putting himself on the radar for an early-season callup should the Indians require an additional body in the outfield.
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|Last 7 Games|
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|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2014||R-Johnson City Cardina||60||245||41||55||9||1||3||25||20||37||26||7||.303||.306||.224|