Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 2/20/12
Metsmarlins_2b80

It looks like a good time to buy stock in Anderson Hernandez.  The Pirates’ decision to place Rule 5 pick Gustavo Nunez on the 60-day disabled list greatly narrows the competition for utility infielder spots.  They have a lot of players available to compete for bench spots, but many, such as Nick Evans and Jake Fox, are strictly corner players.  Somebody has to backup Clint Barmes at short and the Pirates want Chase d’Arnaud and Jordy Mercer to get more time in AAA.  Nunez, a good-glove, no-offense player who by all accounts is a legitimate shortstop, seemed like a good bet to make the team, because Clint Hurdle values defense highly off the bench.

Now it looks very likely that either the veteran Hernandez or Yamaico Navarro, acquired over the winter from the Royals, will make the team.  Hernandez has played over a third of his major league games at short, although he’s really better at second.  He doesn’t have much of a bat.  Navarro has good hitting potential but is not regarded as a guy who do more at short than fill in occasionally.  That doesn’t bother me much.  Bench players are used proportionately much more for offense than starters, due to pinch-hitting duties.  If the Pirates need a fill-in for an extended period due to injury, d’Arnaud or Mercer is a phone call away.  For some reason, though, a lot of baseball people, apparently including Hurdle, think defense is more important off the bench.  In any event, Nunez should become available in April, so he may yet end up as Barmes’ backup.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Urban Meyer hints JT Barrett leads Ohio State starting QB competition

Boras: Marlins players are angry Marcell Ozuna is in minors

Report: Chancellor officially holding out of training camp

Cardinals' Jen Welter is 'tired of hearing about Tom Brady's balls'

Sandoval downplays talk about weight, conditioning, defense

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Astros acquire Carlos Gomez from Brewers

Richardson charged for resisting arrest after high-speed chase

Yankees finally get Dustin Ackley

Five most overrated teams in the CFB preseason coaches’ poll

Murphy pulled players to give media ‘something to think about’

Robert Kraft signs fan’s ‘Free Brady’ poster

Twins closer's wife pens essay about Twitter hate he's enduring

Kings set to make Lieberman NBA’s second female coach

Is Julius Randle a star?

Projecting the prospects in the David Price trade

'Miracle on Ice' goalie selling Olympic gear for $5.7 million

Josh Smith addresses ‘harder on me’ comment in essay

Examining the state of the NFL

Steelers players: Who is Jimmy Garoppolo?

Tigers’ reboot continues, Joakim Soria traded to Pirates

Matthews ‘felt disrespected’ Blazers didn’t try to re-sign him

Cardinals ink billion dollar TV deal from Fox Sports Midwest

Spurs Jesus catches burglar, holds him down for police

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Examining the state of the NFL

Will the Giants end up standing pat?

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker