Don’t look now but the Pirates are stringing together wins and showing shines of turning around the 2017 season.
Following today’s 9-4 win over Atlanta, the Pirates have now won 8 of their last 12 games.
They’ll have a chance to keep up the winning baseball because starting tomorrow night against the New York Mets, 16 of their next 21 games will be played at PNC Park.
No question the reason for the mini turnaround, especially the last two games, has been the awakening of the offense.
In the last 3 games, the offense has scored 26 runs and have collected 42 hits. The encouraging thing is the players that are starting to get hot.
LAST 3 GAMES:
Frazier: 3 hits, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Harrison: 8 hits, 4 RBI
Cervelli: 7 hits, 4 RBI
Mercer: 7 hits, 5 RBI
With players returning and with the offense hitting, Clint Hurdle has some interesting decisions to make with his lineup card.
Now that he’s been activated, where does Gregory Polanco hit in the lineup?
Slumping Andrew McCutchen has sat the last 2 games, does he return to the lineup immediately and if so, where does he hit?
How does Hurdle keep Frazier and Harrison’s bat in the lineup everyday? Would he consider starting Harrison in right field or Frazier in center field a majority of the time?
What does the lineup look like with Polanco in it?
Here’s how I’d address the questions that I just asked.
**McCutchen doesn’t have an everyday spot in the lineup and surely doesn’t hit in the 3rd spot. Until his bat returns and despite what this does to his ego, McCutchen becomes a platoon player.
**Assuming his hamstring is 100%, Frazier has an everyday spot in the lineup at second base or center field. Considering how well he hits against lefties, Frazier shouldn’t be taken out of the lineup.
As far as Harrison goes, I’d platoon him between second base, third base and the outfield. Freese can use a day off or two and Harrison has shown the ability to play outfield so I’d just rotate him around on defense.
MY EVERYDAY LINEUP (w/McCutchen)
LINEUP W/O McCutchen