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Jordy Mercer to Make First MLB Start Tonight vs Reds

The Pittsburgh Pirates called up short stop Jordy Mercer prior to yesterday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, sending down utility player Yamaico Navarro to make room.

In 47 AAA games, Mercer hit .303/.379/.417 with 3 home runs and 11 doubles.

Mercer only got one at bat last night, grounding out to short against Homer Bailey in the eighth inning.

Tonight, he will bat second and play short stop for the Bucs as they look to rebound against the Reds.

Here’s the rest of the team’s lineup:

1. Jose Tabata, LF

2. Mercer, SS

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

5. Neil Walker, 2B

6. Garrett Jones, RF

7. Matt Hague, 1B

8. Rod Barajas, C

9. A.J. Burnett, P

The 35-year-old Burnett (3-2, 4.19) will be making his eighth start in a Pirate uniform tonight. He’s allowed two or less runs in his last four starts and six of his seven starts this year.

He’s been a reliable arm in the rotation thus far, aside from one bad start on May 2 when Burnett gave up 12 runs in 2.2 innings.

On the mound for the Reds will be 26-year-old Johnny Cueto (5-2, 2.53), who threw a 110-pitch complete game last time out against the Bucs. He’s been struggling lately, though, as he’s managed to last five or more innings in just one of his last three starts.

His season ERA of 2.53 is still good, and he’ll surely still be tough to manage for these Pirates hitters tonight.

Earlier today, I opened up my Sabermetric Summer series with a look at the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) stat and how the Pirates have been doing in that category. You can check that out here.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

A win tonight brings the Bucs back to .500.

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