Josh Harrison Sees Time at Second Base in Latest Rehab Appearance

Following a 0-for-3 effort in his first contest, Jordy Mercer looked much more comfortable at the plate in his second rehab game. This translated to his numbers, as Mercer went 2-for-4 with a pair of sharp singles between the shortstop and third baseman.

“It is all about getting back in the flow of things,” Mercer said. “Me and Josh [Harrison] were talking and it has been three and a half weeks since we have been in the batter’s box and seen live pitching. It is going to take time and timing is the biggest part. It is good to get out there and continue to get at bats and get in a little rhythm and get settled in.”

Mercer also got a couple of opportunities in the game to test the knee as well. In the first inning, he reached on an error on a ground ball. Having to leg out the play, along with getting an opportunity to play a ground out deep in the hole on defense was a nice test for him. However, he said that the key is to get back to where he isn’t thinking about it.

“You don’t want to think about it,” Mercer said. “It is safe to say that the ball in the hole, I didn’t think about it. Everything came together and it felt pretty good. I am glad that it did and after the game was over, I felt really good with how the knee responded and continuing to progress each and every day.”

Along with Mercer, Josh Harrison is working on getting back in the grove. While Harrison saw a 0-for-4 game, he did strike a couple of fly outs well. One of them made it to the warning track and another just shy. He also added a couple of groundouts.

On defense, Harrison played second base on Thursday after playing third base on Tuesday in his rehab debut.

As for the thumb injury, Harrison said that the rehab process has been a bit different, since this is the first time that he has had this type of injury.

“[The thumb] is feeling better,” Harrison told Howard Kellman on the Indianapolis pregame radio broadcast. “It’s one of those things I’ve never been through before. I am just trying to take it day by day, just trying to improve and get back and remain healthy.”

Harrison said that it is also more than just getting the timing back down at the plate. He said that there are other areas that are needed as well.

“[I am trying to get the timing back] in all aspects,” Harrison told Kellman. “On the bases, in the field. The timing of the game and the speed of the game. It’s one thing to be in the dugout cheering your guys on for five weeks, but being out there and getting back in the flow of things is something that is more than just being at the plate. It is Spring Training all over again.”

When asked about a time frame, Harrison said that he would like to be in Pittsburgh now, but he will let the rehab process play out and take it a day at a time.

Mercer and Harrison will have a scheduled day off on Friday with Indianapolis. Mercer said that his next task will be playing back to back seven-inning games, followed by some nine-inning games. This would presumably be Saturday and Sunday. He said that the progress with Harrison will be a little different.

  • JHay NEEDS to play 2b, esp if Hurdle decides that Jordy is his SS and Kang his 3b (our best def alignment, imo).

    Walker’s range has gotten to the point that my wife covers more ground.

    • +5 million

    • Yea I noticed that when you bought her that new push mower. You really went all out so she could cover that ground.

    • yeah, lets put sure-handed Walker and his .750 OPS as a second baseman on the bench, that should be easy to replace

      • No let’s put him at first base. Without taking reps I would be willing to bet he is a better 1B than Pedro

        • Probably, but we’ve been waiting all year for Pedro’s bat to come around and offset the fielding. And now it is.

          FWIW, it would be hard to convince me that the dropped ball last night was going to be an out anyway. I think Pedro loses the race to the bag and I don’t think Liriano would’ve got there ahead of the runner either.

          Btw, not to dump further on NW, but anyone notice that Pedro is hitting LHP as well as Neil? A tiny bit better even.

          • Pedro’s swing has noticeable improved, too. Notice how the bats finishing over his shoulder again. “Finish high and let it fly”.

            For whatever reason, they had taken a ton of the loft out of his swing which is what was causing him to hit so many damn ground balls.

          • I wouldn’t go that far Alaverz is pretty bad in the field, for some inexplicable reason.

            • Inexplicable is the absolute best way to describe the situation. Would love to know how many less errors he’d have if he just used his old infielders glove. Truly something I’ve never seen before at any level of the game.

        • Neil would have gone to 1st with a new contract. That, and Josh Bell in the wings eliminated that possibilty. No one’s gonna play a position for a year and then become a free agent. That’s foolish. Even if he is crappy at 2nd.

          • I hate drilling the guy without him saying anything, but this has been my thought all along as well. I’d be surprised if Walker was all that wild about downgrading positions heading into free agency.

            • His agent should rightly go crazy if Walker is fine with the team moving him to 1B.

              • How about third? Its not much of a position downgrade, his arm plays,his range doesn’t matter as much, and he already has over 350 games there in the minors. Simply swapping J-Hay and Walker on the field would make this a better team.

                • Still a drop for him. This year he is roughly 7th in wRC+ at 2B, he’d be 12th at 3B and he’d have to see no transition period at all or else the defense would be an issue.

                  I still think his range would be a point of issue at 3B, just less than 2B. Itd be slightly better defense, slightly lesser bat .

      • I’m thinking more 2016, when your boy gets dealt.

        • Oh, well I don’t care about 2016, we are in a pennant race currently in case you didn’t notice

      • Against LHP you sure should. It allows for better defense all around and likely better at bats with Kang-Mercer-Harrison at 3B-SS-2B.

        • The statement I was responding to wasn’t about “against lefties” luke, again quit being contrarian, it’s annoying

          • If you are gonna get upset over everything, dont post on the internet. Im not gonna worry about annoying you. I made a response to the idea i saw presented, if it bothers you ignore it. Adult stuff.

            • I’m not going to get upset, but I’m going to make you aware when your contrarian posts get annoying because I honestly don’t think you realize it sometimes. I know you are a smart guy, and your posts have value, but you get in this rut of devil’s advocate too often, and its totally not needed in most occasions. It is okay to agree with people from time to time, whether it’s me, leo, NMR, Jacob, pilbo, whatever….. problem is, you never post when you agree, only when you don’t. Try to even it out a little.

    • Watching Walker at 2B last night was painful. He looked like a 1B man playing out of position.

      • agreed, it was bad.

        • So how many bad first basemen do we have Alvarez, Walker?, Travis, – I like Sean and I can’t believe they are thinking about Aramis. How many years has it been since we grasped at these straws? Derek Lee for the three weeks he played for us was the last real1b.

    • I still think Walker’s bat is superior enough to Mercer’s that it outweighs the defensive deficiencies.

      • There has predictably been an overreaction to the sloppy defense.

        • I have a lot more faith in NW going 2 for 2 in the same inning then I do Mercer. N Dubs was a homer short of a cycle last night. He’s nothing if not consistent. He’s practically boring. Still feel like Hanson deserves a shot at 2B next year though.

    • Doesnt have to be an all or nothing. Spot Mercer in with guys like Morton on the mound, with others you can roll with Harrison-Kang-Walker.

      Walker has a range issue, but he’s generally reliable turning DPs and what he gets to. Its having A-Ram+Pedro along with 1 lack of range guy that kills it.

      • Nobody seems to have said it, but I wonder how much of Walker’s range issue is causing problems with Alvarez covering the base on grounders in the hole?

        I mean, they clearly aren’t telling Pedro to just get to the bag, Neil will have you covered.

        • Solid point, you would think that at some point it would be a “fuck it, just go to 1B and whatever Walker doesnt get we live with” but lack of range does make that rather tough.

          I thought it was just adjustment issues for Pedro, but he is just clearly not comfortable at all knowing what to go get and what to leave. Idk if its in his head, if he is suddenly that poor on those decisions, but its shocking.

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