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Friday, August 15, 2014

Pirates Injury Update: Jordy Mercer, Stolmy Pimentel, Neil Walker

By on 8/15/2014 08:00:00 AM

The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to stay in contention for a playoff place but they are going to have to overcome a few injuries if they are going to be playing come October. With Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker currently sidelined, Jordy Mercer joined them as a concern during Thursday's game when he exited with right forearm tightness, while Stolmy Pimentel is heading to the DL on Friday.

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune tweeted Mercer's exit, followed by the news that it was a forearm issue:
Mercer was replaced at shortstop by Josh Harrison, with Jayson Nix coming in to the game to play third base in his place. There's no indication whether the problem will keep Mercer out of Friday's game. The 27-year-old has been worth 2.7 wins this season according to Baseball-Reference, with a .700 OPS and the defensive metrics strongly in his favour.

Following the acquisition of John Axford from Cleveland, Biertempfel also indicates that Pimentel will make way on the 25-man roster by going on the disabled list with lower body soreness. Biertempfel notes that Pimentel was lit up in his last outing on Wednesday, giving up three runs while failing to record an out, and is out of minor league options. Given the vagueness of the injury and the need to clear a spot for Axford, fans would be forgiven for thinking that this was a move driven more by roster management needs than health concerns.

Meanwhile, the Pirates may be able to cover for Mercer with the return of Neil Walker, who was apparently in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit when Thursday's game ended. Walker got through his normal pre-game routine without problems and Hurdle's comments to Biertempfel suggested the second baseman may start on Friday.

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