Pittsburgh Pirates Updates: Starling Marte and Jordy Mercer
Clint Hurdle updated the status on Pirates starting left fielder Starling Marte and Pirates starting shortstop Jordy Mercer.
Clint Hurdle announced, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, that Starling Marte will be done for the season, missing all three games against the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Hurdle also mentioned, still from Brink, that Jordy Mercer is possibly done as well. Starling Marte because of back tightness and Mercer because of a forearm issue.
Starling Marte, with his season now officially over, ended on a bad note, playing in only seven games in the month of September, and none between September 5th and 21st. However, that does not take away from anything that Marte did this season – offensively and defensively.
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The speedy outfielder hit an impressive .311/.362/.456 with a 121 wRC+ and 47 stolen bases. Among Pirates with at least 250 plate appearances, Marte led the team in average, stolen bases, and fWAR. Marte finished third in runs scored and fourth in on-base percentage, behind Matt Joyce, Francisco Cervelli, and Jung-Ho Kang.
Defensively, Starling Marte is fifth among all outfielders in defensive runs saved, and his 17 outfield assists rank second to only Adam Eaton. Starling Marte once again had an impressive season.
Jordy Mercer once again struggled, hitting .256/.328/.374 with a wRC+ of 89. It is an improvement on last year, though, as Mercer only hit .244/.293/.320 with a wRC+ of 67 in 2015. His season started off with promise, as the Pirates everyday shortstop hit .283/.359/.391 with a 104 wRC+ from April until the end of July. In August and September, Mercer hit a very poor .207/.262/.345 and a wRC+ of 60. His once promising season took a downward spin.
Mercer also struggled with the glove. His -8 defensive runs saved is the fifth worst among the 24 qualified shortstops. His -9.5 UZR/150 also ranks fifth among the qualified shortstops. Mercer, although improving from 2015, left a lot to be desired.
Both players will be back next season in the same roles that they are currently in. Starling Marte will likely be the same Starling Marte that kills teams with his hitting, speed, arm, and glove. Jordy Mercer will leave fans wanting more, especially against right-handed pitching. But, with the Pirates being eliminated and only three games remaining in the schedule, making sure these two players are healthy is huge.
*Numbers from baseball-reference and fangraphs