Pirates lose another infielder as SS Mercer sidelined

Baseball The Pirates infield it taking a "next man up" approach after shortstop Jordy Mercer was injured in Sunday's loss to the Brewers.Jung Ho Kang, who has been starting at third base for injured Josh Harrison (thumb), will move over to shortstop while Mercer is out, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. MORE: Mike Trout compares favorably with baseball greatsMercer, who was taken off the field on a cart after Carlos Gomez slid into him in the second inning while trying to break up a double play, returned to Pittsburgh, where team doctors will evaluate him. Manager Clint Hurdle said he didn't know if the Pirates (53-38) would make a roster move before a series that begins Monday against the Royals, but Brent Morel, who can play third as well as first, was removed from Triple-A Indianapolis' lineup Sunday night.After Mercer left Sunday's game, Hurdle moved Kang from third to short and put Sean Rodriguez at third, an indication that Hurdle prefers Kang to Rodriguez defensively at short. The Post-Gazette noted that playing Rodriguez at third on an everyday basis creates two issues: It puts his .209/.237/.321 slash line in the lineup and leaves no one on a bench with only three healthy position players who can play middle infield.The Post-Gazette reported Sunday that the Pirates have some interest in A's utility player Ben Zobrist, but they would have to compete with several teams to acquire him before the July 31 trade deadline.

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