An important part of every contender especially in the National League are the guys that they have available to come up off the bench in an import part of any game. The Pirates made some additions at the deadline to try to improve their bench such as acquiring Gaby Sanchez and even Travis Snider even though he's a starter it still improves because now we have an old starter now available off the bench. The Pirates still don't have the best bench in the league but it's improved and I'm trying to figure how just how good it is.
The Pirates right now only have four bench position players on their roster but will probably add another one soon as either a pitcher will be placed on the DL or Jeff Locke will be sent back down. I know not many of you want to hear this but if I had to guess I would say that Jose Tabata is close to a call up even though he has it for absolutely zero power since being sent to AAA but he does have a good batting average of .313 almost a hundred points higher then his batting average earlier this year in the majors.
Josh Harrison- Harrison well he's not that great no matter how hard you try to find something to make him look that way. Harrison has hit .237 average this year in just over 150 at bats and really doesn't add much power to the mix either as he has only hit three home-runs this year and a slugging percentage of .385. The nice thing about Harrison and frankly the only reason he's still in the majors is because he can play just about anywhere on the field. Harrison is listed as an infielder and plays short or third most of the time but can also play right field if you need him to and has done so this year. Harrison's fine to play every once in a while to give a guy a break but he's not the bat I want coming off the bench in a big situation.
Michael McKenry- As much as I don't like to admit that McKenry is a bench bat it seems with the way that Hurdle is handling the catching situation its looks like its going to end up being that way. Unlike Harrison I would feel pretty good if McKenry was hitting with two outs and the winnings run on second, as good as I could feel that is. McKenry has hit 11 home-runs this year and carries a strong .281 average as well. I wrote a post last week about Mckenry's unbelievable at-bat to home-run ratio if you want to check it out, the guy has shown amazing pop this year and I don't see if falling off to much especially with the limited playing time that he already gets.
Gaby Sanchez- If you follow the team much at all you would know that Gaby Sanchez is the first-baseman the Pirates just acquired from the Florida Marlins in exchange for Gorkys Hernandez and the 33 overall pick in this upcoming draft. Sanchez has not been great this year but has improved since being shipped to Pittsburgh at the deadline. A lot of guys aren't quite has high on Sanchez as I am partly because I value long at-bats more then most and Sanchez always seems to be good for one of those. Sanchez always works long counts and in turn raises pitchers pitch counts, which we know is under constant watch now a days, but working these long counts also forces the pitcher to throw a good pitch eventually and Sanchez gets a lot of hits that way. In a big pinch hit spot Sanchez might not be the best but he's not going to be terrible either, he's always going to give himself a chance which is about all I can ask for.
Jordy Mercer- The last bench bat the Pirates have to throw out there right now is the primarily shortstop playing Jordy Mercer. Mercer hit his first career home-run the other night but is not really known for his power but instead his steady defense in the field. Mercer doesn't see the field very much but should probably see it a little more, but in 18 game this season Mercer has hit for a .191/.234/.452 line but lets remember this is just 31 at-bats were talking about so we really can't judge Mercer off of this much at all. To the question if Mercer would be good in a clutch situation, I really don't think we have to worry about that much at all as Mercer would probably be the worst option at this point.