Buck Showalter often provides the unexpected. There was Nick Markakis batting leadoff, Zach Britton closing and now he can only hope the Steve Pearce at second base experiment is as successful.
With Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty on the disabled list, Showalter used Rey Navarro at second. But, with Jimmy Paredes hot and Pearce a good hitter at Tropicana Field, he’s trying something new.
Paredes, who has played second is the DH, and Pearce, who hasn’t, is playing beside Everth Cabrera at short.
Pearce, who told reporters in St. Petersburg, Fla. that he has been taking ground balls from third base coach Bobby Dickerson, has never played second in professional ball.
He has played some at third base, and Showalter mentioned several months back that Pearce could play there, but second wasn’t discussed.
Pearce, who is from nearby Lakeland, Fla., enjoys hitting against the Rays. In 16 games at Tropicana Field, Pearce has five homers and a .314 average.
Pearce played 93 games at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park with the Pirates, and had just four home runs.
This is likely to be a short-term experiment. Ryan Flaherty could start a rehab assignment at Bowie next Monday, and so could J.J. Hardy. Flaherty is eligible for activation a week from now and Hardy will be welcomed back when he’s ready.
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