When the cut on Neil Walker's right hand necessitated a move to the disabled list, the Pirates had options to replace him.
They could have chosen Josh Harrison, who has started 23 major league games at second base and was hitting .300 with a .410 on-base percentage after the weekend games with Class AAA Indianapolis. They could have opted for Ivan DeJesus, who was hitting .358 and has played plenty of middle infield but isn't on the 40-man roster.
Instead, they called up Jordy Mercer because, as manager Clint Hurdle said, "From opening day until then, he played better than everybody else there."
Mercer's immediate future with the Pirates is uncertain. When Walker returns -- he is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday -- the Pirates might option Mercer back to Indianapolis. But Mercer played nearly exclusively at shortstop for Indianapolis this season, partly to prepare him for the possibility of competing for the major league job in 2014.

"We talked with Jordy about deserving to make our club out of spring training given the spring that he'd had, given what he'd done, given the advancements and development that he'd shown," general manager Neal Huntington said. "We challenged him to continue to carry it forward. We also gave him some things that he can continue to work on to be a legitimate option for us at short next year."