John Jaso, hitless so far, makes first career start in right field
April 19, 2017 12:57 PM
Pirates bench coach Tom Prince talks with first baseman John Jaso during batting practice March 7 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.
By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
ST. LOUIS — Hitless in his first 17 at-bats this season, John Jaso on Wednesday was given his first career start in right field. He will bat sixth for the Pirates as they look to avoid a series sweep at Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals and right-hander Michael Wacha.
“It all depends what you’re looking for,” manager Clint Hurdle said before the game. “If you're looking for a hit, he doesn’t have one. If you're looking for a guy that's battling, getting his swing off, he's doing all that and more. He's getting some walks. He's being aggressive.
“It's just a matter of time before that first hit comes.”
Jaso entered the day 4 for 11 with a homer and a walk against Wacha.
Jaso has played 5 1/3 innings in right field during his major league career, though he worked there at length in spring training. He platooned at first base last season, but since the promotion of Josh Bell he’s been mostly relegated to the bench and will play the odd day at first or in right.
“He’s got some experience out there,” Hurdle said. “He’s been tracking balls. He’s been working. With the situation we're in right now [with Starling Marte suspended for 80 games], we talked about [Jaso] playing out there yesterday. He's one of the options.”
1. Josh Harrison 2B 2. Josh Bell (S) 1B 3. Andrew McCutchen CF 4. Gregory Polanco (L) LF 5. David Freese 3B 6. John Jaso (L) RF 7. Jordy Mercer SS 8. Chris Stewart C 9. Gerrit Cole RHP
1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF 2. Greg Garcia (L) SS 3. Matt Carpenter (L) 1B 4. Stephen Piscotty RF 5. Jose Martinez LF 6. Yadier Molina C 7. Jedd Gyorko 3B 8. Kolten Wong (L) 2B 9. Michael Wacha RHP
Stephen J. Nesbitt: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.
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