Josh Harrison to the 15-Day DL With an Injured Left Thumb

Josh Harrison has been placed on the 15-day disabled list after injuring his left thumb in the seventh inning of yesterday’s game. Harrison will have a second opinion on the injury later this week, per a Pirates press release. Harrison appeared to have injured his thumb in his slide into second base yesterday, pictured in the image above.

This clears a roster spot for Travis Ishikawa, who was claimed from San Francisco yesterday. As for third base, my guess is that Jung-ho Kang will get playing time at third, with Jordy Mercer getting back in the lineup on a regular basis at shortstop. Mercer has an .805 OPS since the start of June, so the hope is that this won’t hurt the Pirates too much while Harrison is out.

  • I’m more concerned about how Kang has been hitting than Mercer……

  • Time to bring The Hit Collector back home!

    • I think this should accelerate the timing of a move for a bat. Harrison out and Polanco struggling and weak bats off the bench spells trouble. Why doesn’t Polanco drag bunt once a game with his speed?

  • scrappy2499
    July 6, 2015 5:06 pm

    Looks like 6 weeks for Josh….bummer

  • Not good, not good at all. Jhay is the sparkplug that makes the pirates go. Hope josh gets back quick.

    • First report is that he is out for a least 6 weeks. Not good at all.

    • Some folks are still stuck in 2014, I see.

      • Not that I disagree, but man did Harrison back into your car and not leave a note?

        He is on pace to be a 2.0 WAR player, not going to match his career year of last year, but effective player. Hopefully Kang starts hitting.

        • 2 WAR player, but certainly not a “spark plug” this year. To this point, Kang’s wRC+ is better than Harrison. Harrison is useful and does things well, but overall he isnt irreplaceable.

          • Some people don’t understand what Spark Plug means….I don’t think you get a spark plug medal when you hit a certain WAR for the year, it’s based off his energy, aggressivness and the way he plays the game, not the results

            • So having poor plate discipline is something to envy? Look, i like Harrison but the myth is starting to overtake the talent for me. Good hitter, but he has flaws that limit his ceiling value. “the way he plays the game” is great, but i dont think he is vastly different in energy level than many of the guys. We just give him credit for it because of some plays that made us go wow, a few that came after poor fundamentals (thinking of his “great” baserunning houdini move)

              • Well that’s exactly the opposite of what all the announcers and his teammates say, so i’ll take their word for it over yours. Sorry Luke. Only thing that bothers me about Harrison is he’s taken a big step back defensively this year. I’ve sorry that “sparkplug” can’t be quantified, but neither can “team leader”. not everything can have a stat attached to it, sparkplug is not one of those things

                • Sparkplug doesnt even have a definition outside of stats, which is my issue. Is it always igniting a rally? I dont see Harrison do that inherently more than others. Is it always appearing to hustle? Multiple guys do that. I see it more as a random phrase used for a fan favorite who wasnt expected to be good but is. He wasnt a sparkplug the entire first month, but we use it like thats what he “is”.

                  • I think it’s always been accurately described as a “high energy” player whom not only displays all out play on the field, but also helps by having his personality carry over to other players on the team. And quite honestly, we do NOT have a lot of players whom are always hustling….in fact we have very few players whom run out every ball. Its one of the things that frustrates me greatly with the stars on the team. Alvarez, Polanco, Cutch, Walker, Marte ALL put it in cruise control if they thing a ball is even in the vicinity of the wall, and alvarez, walker, and Polanco have routinely not run hard to first and ended up being out even after a bobble because of it this year. Running is easy to do, it takes no talent. There is no excuse for jogging

                  • sparkplug doesn’t have any definition inside of stats luke- literally none.

        • That’s not how WAR works, and you know that.

          Harrison racked up 32% of his hits and 33% of his extra base hits over a two week span in late May. Before then he was abysmal (47 wRC+), since then he’s been merely below average (90 wRC+).

        • And fwiw, my comment was more directed toward what the Pirates have managed to do in spite of Harrison than a knock on him specifically.

          • We were pretty mediocre early in the year when he was struggling, were we not? Of course so was Cutch and Mercer, but that’s not the point

          • I agree with what you are saying.

            For the WAR number I just took his current WAR and added what he is projected to do rest of season, not sure what is wrong with that.

            Yes is inconsistent, such is the nature of hitters who are BABIP dependent, but an okay guy to have in the lineup 6th or 7th, the less time he spends in RF the better.

      • Yeah, he’s not getting MVP votes this year. But on Pirates he’s tied for lead in hits, tied for 2nd in doubles, .330+ OBP since May 1, 3rd in runs scored… maybe Kang can do that. Maybe.

        • If i get to cherry pick stats like you just did, i can make Kang look like an all star (specifically you picking a biased start date for his OBP and a stat that shows that he gets on and his teammates do good around him in runs scored).

          • May 14-30: .435/.446/.597, accounting for 32% of Harrison’s hits and 33% of XBH for the entire season to date.

            He’s been far more inconsistent than some arbitrary endpoints would show.

          • In your world, apparently slow starts don’t happen. In the Pirates’ world, they do.

            If you want to make a point that Harrison doesn’t have the established basis of a Walker or a Cutch and in your opinion the real Harrison is a .270-ish hitter, then make that point.

            For me, trajectory has a lot more to do with how I evaluate where a player is at at a given time. And to lose Harrison right now is a significant hit, although not what it would have been last year.

            • If trajectory has a lot more to do with evaluating where a player is, how does Harrison go from suck to decent? He was on a consistent trajectory but managed to correct that.

              Slow starts are overcome just like any other oddly poor play is overcome, and thats not Harrison specific. You use arbitrary endpoints in an argument and dismiss my comments with “well he started slow so that isnt as big a deal”. Why does he get a pass for sucking early? Kang was great early, and slowed recently. Why is it clearly a big drop off without Harrison, can Kang not miraculously change his trajectory like Harrison did?

              My point is, their overall body of work to this point shows 2 players not that far off each other. Kang isnt a large step down, and we are far better off this year than last with that depth.

              • Simple. The book is out on Kang after that fast start. And using Hurdle-speak, he hasn’t figured out how to “punch back” yet.

                If we agree that the Korean league is a AA+/AAA- comparable, then you can draw comparisons between Polanco and Kang. Both had fast starts. When pitchers figured out Polanco, he nosedived and still hasn’t come back. Jury is still out on Kang. I think Kang has an excellent baseball IQ and should figure it out. But as of yet he hasn’t. So at this time and place, I have to give the nod to Harrison as the better, more valuable player.

                • Right, i agree Harrison is likely a better player and thats why he starts. My point isnt that i think Kang is assuredly better, but that the drop off isnt large. I dont think Harrison is a LOT better than Kang. This year, i do like Kang’s defense as much as Harrison. So i give a nod to Josh on offense, but not so much that i weep over this situation.

      • I like you to, coochy,coochy coo. : )

  • Tabata .298/.341 . Yes no power but right now but with the Current situation why isn’t he here?

    • Not sure if as a DFA and not an option if he has to spend 10 full days in minors. But I have to think he’d be up for Cards series as he’s had success vs Wacha and Martinez.

    • Its not just no power, its no anything but singles. He could be a fine 4th OFer for some teams, but when all of your offensive value comes from singles its tough to fall in love. Guy is carrying an 83 wRC+, so better than Polanco (75) but without his value on the bases.

      Tabata is a replacement level player because he never hits HR, isnt hitting doubles or triples, and basically average speed and at best average defense.

  • Patrick Kelly
    July 6, 2015 4:34 pm

    Any word on a Lambo rehab? Would be nice to have him back as a bench bat/1B/RF…and for his unbelievable BABIP to regress.

  • Good lord, the bench now. Lombardozzi, Rodriguez, Hernandez and Ishikawa. Really taking the all-glove, no-stick mantra to the extreme.

    Something tells me this configuration won’t last long.

    • No. I’d hope not. It’s an ugly collection for sure.. I’m baffled as to why they sent Tabata back down. To me its a no-brainer. He has no power. Who cares right now. He’s probably should be starting for Polanco and Polanco should be figuring it out at AAA. He’s been downright terrible and there’s really no signs of improvement, It is sad. Tabata should be on this roster. I’m also baffled Decker isn’t here over some of these guys. I think possibly they are preparing to send Polanco down and maybe want to keep Tabs and Decker in a groove

      • I’m fine with Tabata as a bat off the bench, where you can effectively hide his below average defense and utter lack of power and speed. Play him any more than that and you’ll wish you hadn’t.

        Also I take NH at his word that he’s going to let Polanco play his way through this, at least for another month or so.

  • Mercer has been in the lineup on a regular basis. This is the time I wish they would have gotten Alen Hansen some time in the OF. Sooner or later I think they should make him more versatile. This injury really hurts especially with us not knowing how long Marte is going to be on the mend.

  • And it starts… you knew we were overdue for our share of injuries. Hopefully Marte’s oblique isn’t acting up.

    • We’ve been lucky. No doubt. AAA pitching massacre aside the major league team has been lucky.

    • Presently I’d strongly consider Mercer at leadoff.

      • Depends on what you value most out of that spot. Mercer is hitting well and getting on, but if speed is a big factor for someone then Polanco gives a much better single+SB chance. I’d say Polanco against RHP, Mercer against LHP.

        • That makes way too much sense to ever happen Luke

        • Gorkys Hernandez, if in the lineup for Marte, will be the leadoff hitter. Or he and Polanco/Lombardozzi swap 1 and 2 depending upon the pitcher.

        • I’m not that concerned with speed at the top. Jordy’s a smart player and a good base runner. I like Polanco in the 7 hole for now just to lower the pressure. Right now Polanco needs to get back to doing what got him here. But I was thinking the same as far as against lefties and righties.

          • Jordy’s a very conservative base runner, not very useful at the top of the lineup. He won’t run into outs, but he doesn’t take extra bases

      • Might as well put Cervelli there then

  • Allen Hanson?

    • Hanson’s a 2nd baseman

      • Patrick Kelly
        July 6, 2015 4:36 pm

        I think he would be perfectly capable of fielding 3B, but his erratic throwing and mental mistakes on the left side of the diamond would make him Pedro 2.0 over there. I love him as a 2Bman and would be thrilled if he could have stuck at SS as it would make the move over to 3B pretty easy. But alas, it just wasn’t in the cards.

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