Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 5/19/13
The common (and mostly correct) assessment of what Clint Barmes brings to the Pirates is that he’s a player who provides a capable defensive option at shortstop but brings little to the table with his bat. One just needs to look to his 0 for 3 performance on Sunday against Houston to see that. Clint Barmes’ recent adjustments to his swing have paid off in hits and helped the Pirates get some production from the bottom of the batting order. Barmes was never intended to be a player Pittsburgh looked to as a vital piece of its lineup, as made evident by his usual appearance in the No. 8 spot. His main contribution has been with his glove but recently has shown some improvement at the plate. Through April Barmes’ batting average was just .181 and he had an OPS of .422. Through 37 at-bats in May he’s seen his batting average rise 48 points to .229. So far this month he’s hitting .324 with an .873 OPS. “He made an adjustment, suggested to him probably a week ago, and he was able to put it right into the game,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said during the Milwaukee series last week. “He’s worked on a number of different things throughout his career. It’s something we tried, talked about and said, ‘We’ve got to do this.’ Since then he’s just had much better at-bats. He’s held his position and his posture in the batter’s box much better. Kinda the same thing we talked with Jones about — staying tall and hitting the ball against your front foot and not lowering your angle and not crouching to hit it. He’s had some success.” Barmes’ big moment came on a Saturday afternoon early in the month at PNC Park when he crushed a Stephen Strasburg pitch for a two-run home run to give the Pirates a 4-2 lead (that they would later lose to Washington). Since then he’s had timely hits and provided a capable bat in the lower half of a Pittsburgh batting order that has sorely needed some production with the well documented struggles of Pedro Alvarez (thought Alvarez did have a decent weekend). “The adjustment we made is just trying to get some weight on the back side,” Barmes said. “Just start it there and leave it there so when I want to start my swing I get to center and I don’t have to go further past that. Really that’s the biggest adjustment that I’ve made. It’s a minor one but it’s obviously kept me on the ball a little better and definitely behind the ball so I’m driving the ball better than what I have up to this point this season.” Barmes acknowledged that he has not always been the most consistent hitter during his 10-year career and said that he has been able to get away with not getting behind the ball for a stretch it has not helped him much long-term. “It’s nothing that we haven’t really tried to find or tired to be more consistent with in the past,” he said. “The biggest thing is just my weight shift back and trying to get some weight back so that I can go from being behind the ball and get to center as opposed to in the past I’ve always wanted to try to somewhat stay centered in my body and go from there. I’ll have spurts where I get by with it but as far as consistency, which is what I’ve battled my whole career. it’s not very good for that.” I’m on record as saying I think Jordy Mercer should get more playing time at shortstop, but the Pirates — at least for now — have an option at the position that can add something to the offense in Barmes. I think we can all agree is more than (currently injured and a black hole at the plate before that) John McDonald brings to the team and it will not hurt to have someone around who can play there and split time as needed.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eric Berry cleared to practice with Chiefs

WATCH: Pedro Martinez's number retired in ceremony

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia suspended 162 games for PEDs

Brady told staff to hand copy of game ball rules to officials

Phillies agree to send Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Russell Wilson to end contract negotiations Friday

Report: Brady authorizes NFLPA to appeal his case in court

NFL, NFLPA reduce Le'Veon Bell suspension

Tim Brown: Cardinals new coach Jen Welter is 'tough as nails'

NFL seeks federal court ruling to confirm Brady’s suspension

Royals reportedly acquire Ben Zobrist from Athletics

WATCH: Royals infielders combine for incredible play

Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey to hold out of training camp

Terry Bollea's self-destruction: Hulkamania as social construct

Lou Holtz: ND has 'legitimate chance' to make playoff

Golfer Billy Hurley III asks for help finding missing father

Dismissed Clemson DE tweets he hates cops after arrest

Smith to report to camp, no charges filed for child abuse

Angels stockpile outfielders, acquire Murphy and DeJesus

Penguins trade Brandon Sutter to the Canucks

Ronda Rousey willing to fight Miesha Tate a third time

Mexico fires coach for alleged brawl after Gold Cup win

Jameis Winston: Back at a good weight heading into camp

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

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

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