Mercer and Harrison: From Pittsburgh to Detroit

Pirates at Orioles 6/7/17

When the Tigers split up Ian Kinsler and José Iglesias, it felt as if an atomic bond was broken. Was Detroit going to have a middle infield with that level of chemistry ever again? It seemed as if the Tigers tried to split peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, or Scooby and Shaggy.

 Enter Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison

After Iglesias’s contract was over, and it was a fact he was not returning after he bid farewell to fans, the Tigers needed to find a shortstop to fill the gap. They could have stayed within the organization and brought up a young player. But, at age 32, Mercer seemed like a great fit, with veteran experience and knowledge to share with the young guys.  In 2008, he joined Pittsburgh in the minors, working his way to the show in 2012. However, 2009 was one of the biggest years of his career. It’s when he met Josh Harrison.

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Harrison was traded by the Cubs to the Pirates in 2009, and that’s when he and Mercer were united. Harrison needed a place to stay shortly after he joined Class-A Advanced Lynchburg, and Mercer offered him his pull-out couch, where he slept the rest of the season. The two must have liked each other because they won a championship with Lynchburg in 2009, and another with AA Altoona in 2010. Harrison was brought up in 2011, and Mercer wasn’t far behind, joining the league in 2012. Together, they have been one of the most notable duos in the MLB. The two have grown such an unbreakable bond, that even their children are best friends.

It makes sense why Harrison signed for a 1-year deal last month. Not only is he another veteran that can bring experience to this young group, but you can’t have the macaroni without the cheese.

What should fans expect?

The two have turned countless double plays in their 7 seasons together, and both have put up great numbers with the Pirates (Harrison: .277 AVG, 52 HR, 269 RBI, Mercer: .256 AVG, 55 HR, 277 RBI). Expect the double plays to continue, and the chemistry to still be alive. Also, the two will be great mentors for younger guys like Dawel Lugo and Willi Castro.

They’re not Whitaker and Trammell, but they’re one of the more recognizable duos in the game. Keep your eyes peeled for some spectacular plays and probably more celebrations like this during the season.



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