PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has been medically cleared to play and will start tonight against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park, batting eighth in the lineup.
Mercer missed the previous game with a jammed right pinky finger, which occurred on a pickoff attempt during the fourth inning of the team's home opener on Monday against the Minnesota Twins.
"The best thing is two fingers is good for me for throwing the ball. The biggest thing for me, which I knew, was gripping a bat. We were able to put some things together with my batting glove to help out."
Although Mercer did not play Wednesday night against Minnesota, manager Clint Hurdle said he was available to come off the bench if needed to pinch hit. Mercer said he was ready to go if called upon.
"I took some swings in the [batting] cage, which is good news," he said. "It's all about getting the swelling down and to grip a bat, that's the biggest thing."
This is the Pirates' starting lineup against the Reds:
1. Josh Harrison, 2nd Base
2. Gregory Polanco, Right Field
3. Starling Marte, Center Field
4. Josh Bell, 1st Base
5. Corey Dickerson, Left Field
6. David Freese, 3rd Base
7. Francisco Cervelli, Catcher
8. Mercer, Shortstop
9. Steven Brault, Pitcher
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