The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently a game over .500 and seem to want to stay in the race for playoff contention. The entire lineup looks good to me, except for one player in particular: Clint Barmes.
I get it. Barmes is out there for his great defense and veteran leadership. But at what point does his offense prove to be so bad that it outweighs his great defense? Sure, he saves a few runs on defense, but how many runs does he forfeit on offense?
In just 15 games in 2013, Barmes is hitting .093 with zero RBI. He has four hits in 43 at-bats.
The Pirates don’t have a lot of internal options to replace Barmes if they do decide to make a change. They have John McDonald on the bench, and he is basically just a better defensive version of Barmes. In the minor leagues, they have Jordy Mercer. He is a better hitting option, but his defense is below average.
Not only do the Pirates not have any options to replace Barmes, they also probably wouldn’t be able to trade him. He is a 34-year-old shortstop that can’t hit, and he is making $5,500,000 this season.
If the Pirates do decide to make a change, I hope they call Mercer up from Triple-A. He is currently hitting for a slash line of .305/.391/.424 in the minor leagues. He also has one home run and eight runs driven in.
I have been a Barmes apologist for too long, he can’t hit, and his defense can only help so much. Having him batting in front of the pitcher every day is just giving the opposing pitcher two automatic outs.