Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Mlb-astros-pirates
Neil Walker has been activated from the DL and is back in the Bucs’ lineup tonight. He’s been out with a hand injury since April 26 and is obviously a welcome addition back to the club. Neil went 5 for 12 in four rehab games with Altoona so he should be good to go. To make room for Walker, the Bucs sent Jordy Mercer back to AAA – a move that has several fans upset. Mercer hit the ball well and impressed during his stint with the big club. He homered twice the other day and it’s pretty clear he’s got a much better bat than Clint Barmes, Brandon Inge, and John McDonald. Through nine games he posted a line of .258/.281/.613 with three homers. The 26 year old is the closest thing the Bucs have to a home-grown shortstop, and he showed the ability to play second with no issues and can also handle third. You could make a case that he should start every day for the Bucs right now, but at the very least he is clearly a worthy bench option (over the likes of McDonald and Inge). The Pirates rationale here is probably this: they see Mercer taking over shortstop next year when Barmes’ contract is up, so they want him to play every day in Triple-A to get ready. He’s only played 56 games there at short, so he should get every day reps there rather than mostly sitting on the bench in Pittsburgh. I disagree. If Mercer were to stay on the team, he could easily start every once in a while for Barmes (as McDonald does now) and play in place of Walker or Pedro Alvarez occasionally against lefties. In games he doesn’t start, he’d be the main infield option to come off the bench because he’s better defensively than Inge at short and second. Under that scenario, the Pirates are a better team in the present (which should be the main priority  because they’re attempting to contend) AND it still gives Mercer good experience that can help him towards a full time job in 2014. Instead, the Pirates are going with two bad veteran infielders – Inge and McDonald – to come off the bench and eat up at bats. Clint Barmes is not going anywhere, like it or not. His defensive value is legitimate and I just don’t see the Pirates giving up on him any time soon–plus he’s actually started to hit a little bit lately. I can live with that, and I can live with one veteran backup like Inge, especially since he’s so versatile and very well-respected. But keeping John McDonald around is just maddening. He can’t hit, at all. So far we haven’t really seen evidence that he’s still a phenomenal defender. Mercer could hold down his job (maybe with just slightly worse defense) while hitting much better and gaining valuable major league experience. This is another frustrating example of the Bucs failing to trust their young talent and instead putting way too much stock in to “veteranosity.”
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Hernandez allegedly shot friend after fight over strip club bill

Report: Andre Johnson requests to be traded or released

James Harden suspended for groin kick to LeBron James

Mark Cuban will play the President in 'Sharknado 3'

Five most exciting one-bid conference tournaments

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Redskins interested in Ndamukong Suh

Report: Darrelle Revis likely to hit free agent market

Le'Veon Bell could face up to a four-game suspension

Report: Giants place franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

Vikings GM: Team has spoken with Adrian Peterson

Yu Darvish on notion he quit on Rangers: ‘That’s BS‘

Who received franchise tags at the deadline and who did not

WATCH: Whiteside, Len ejected after getting into wrestling match

WATCH: Texas-Baylor fight leads to seven ejections

Nik Stauskas wears Michigan State gear after lost bet

Bret Bielema takes away player's car after DUI

NHL player traded after daughter's heartbreaking letter

Curt Schilling unloads on Twitter trolls again

Pirates Corey Hart cut his foot getting into a whirlpool

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter, jabs Clemson

Michael Jordan makes his first Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young rips ESPN anchor over Iggy Azalea insult

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

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

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.