Jun 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstopJordy Mercer
(10) runs towards Atlanta Braves third basemanJuan Uribe
(2) during a double play during the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Other areas of need
Jordy Mercer hasn’t improved like many thought he would since his poor start to the year. Jung Ho Kang seems legitimate offensively, but he has occasional defensive issues. Moving Kang into a starting position may not be what management wants to do at the moment as well. A trade for a shortstop could be an out-of-the-box idea the Pittsburgh Pirates could explore, and one that could involve sending Mercer as part of the package.
Gregory Polanco hasn’t performed up to expectations in right field so far this season. He does get hot from time-to-time, but his .249 average and three home runs aren’t up to par. Jose Tabata can relieve Polanco every now and then, but another outfield bat off the bench that could spell Polanco would be one idea that could be explored. Tabata hasn’t proven himself at the big league level to the satisfaction of the Pirates, but there are other options in Triple-A (namely Jaff Decker) that will be looked into first.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will most likely add small pieces to improve the team, such as bullpen depth and bench help. But expect to hear rumors swirling come trade deadline time about the Pirates pursuing big names to improve the club, as we’ve heard with them and players such as David Price and Giancarlo Stanton in the past. It’s going to be exciting to follow this team heading towards July 31st.