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Hurdle: Adeiny Hechavarria brings more than a good glove to Pirates’ lineup

September 5, 2018
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Pirates shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria throws the ball across the infield during the first inning against the Cubs Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, at PNC Park.

With shortstop Jordy Mercer on the disabled list, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle defended the use of Adeiny Hechavarria over rookie Kevin Newman, who has no at-bats since he was was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday.

“I really don’t think we’re paying (Hechavarria) enough credit,” Hurdle said. “He’s a major league shortstop. He’s very gifted. He’s shown the ability to play an offensive game. He had an at-bat (Saturday) night (a sacrifice fly) that we could have used seven or eight times during the week.”

He also homered against the San Francisco Giants among his six hits in 18 at-bats prior to Sunday.

Hechavarria, who’s hitting .364 against left-handed pitchers this season, was in the lineup Sunday against Cubs lefty Jose Quintana.

“Fans have to love the anticipation for Newman,” Hurdle said. “It will be a veritable glow over the stadium when we get him involved in a game.”

General manager Neal Huntington also asks fans to be patient in their desire to see Newman in the starting lineup.

“This gives Kevin Newman a quick snapshot of the big leagues, the speed of the game,” Huntington said. “He is going to get some playing time up here.

“But Hechavarria is an above-average major-league shortstop. We’re six games out of a wild-card spot, fighting for our playoff lives.”

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