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

Bills suspend assistant coach for first six games of 2015

Trent Richardson has 50-50 chance at making Raiders roster

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

WATCH: Dez Bryant throws punches at training camp

There's no need for Notre Dame to join a conference

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

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

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

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