Sorry Pittsburgh Pirates fans, your favorite 38-year-old backup utility infielder that has hit for a .065/.171/.097 slash line is going to the 15-day disabled list.
That’s right, John McDonald has been placed on the disabled list after his back locked up on him on Tuesday night. To replace McDonald on the 25-man roster, the Pirates recalled Jordy Mercer just a few days after optioning him to Triple-A.
It’s very strange to see Mercer back with the Pirates. He had allegedly been optioned because the Pirates wanted him to keep playing every day, but there is no way he is going to be getting a start every day while McDonald is on the disabled list. The three positions Mercer can play are second base, third base and shortstop. He isn’t going to get many starts over the likes of Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Clint Barmes.
I would have expected to see the Pirates recall Josh Harrison to the big league club while McDonald is inactive. Harrison has been a backup utility player for the Pirates for the past few seasons, and using him instead of Mercer would have given Mercer starts everyday at Triple-A, just like the Pirates had said that they wanted.
I like having Mercer back in Pittsburgh however, because I am of the mindset that you want your best 25 guys on the roster. I prefer Mercer to be eased into the 2014 starting shortstop job by being the top backup infielder for the Pirates this season.
The Pirates seem to think it would be easier for him if they use him as the everyday shortstop in Triple-A, but they must not know that big league experience is more important than playing every day in the minor leagues.
At least now the Pirates have some more offense on the team. Don’t worry Pirates fans, McDonald will be back, unless the team finally decides to cut ties with him.