The Pirates activated second baseman Neil Walker from the disabled list and optioned infielder Jordy Mercer to Class AAA Indianapolis, the team announced this afternoon.
Walker was placed on the disabled list after sustaining a deep cut to his right hand, an injury that occurred April 26 when St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma landed on his hand while turning a double play.
In nine games with the Pirates, Mercer hit .258 with three home runs and four RBIs and, from an offensive standpoint, outshined starting shortstop Clint Barmes and backup John McDonald. But Mercer has options remaining -- Barmes and McDonald do not. Manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday that would be a factor when the team activated Walker from the disabled list.
The front office also views Mercer as a strong candidate to start at shortstop in 2014, but for the time being, it is sticking with Barmes, who is making $5.5 million this season, at the major league level. Team management would rather have Mercer play every day and hone his defensive skills in Class AAA than play sparingly in the majors.
Michael Sanserino: email@example.com, 412-263-1722 or Twitter @msanserino First Published May 13, 2013 5:45 PM