Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Josh Harrison chosen to represent Pirates at All-Star Game

By Rob Biertempfel
July 2, 2017
Image result for josh harrison pirates july 2017
Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Harrison (5) drives in a run with a double off Atlanta Braves starting pitcher R.A. Dickey in the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

After being named a reserve for the National League squad Sunday, Josh Harrison said he will bring his usual assortment of gloves to the All-Star Game.
"I'll take what I normally take: an infield (mitt), an outfield (mitt)," Harrison said with a grin. "Whatever they need me to do."
Harrison will be the lone Pirate in the game, which will be held July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.
A utilityman for most of his career, Harrison was scheduled this season to be the everyday second baseman. However, Jung Ho Kang's visa problems and Starling Marte's suspension forced Harrison back into a multi-position role.
"I have belief in myself," said Harrison, who also was an All-Star in 2014. "This is not surprising to me. Just staying the course and knowing it's a tough game but you have to enjoy it. I play with a lot of passion and have fun."
Harrison earned his second All-Star berth by leading the Pirates in batting average (.288), stolen bases (10) and hits (85). He ranks second with an .815 OPS and 132 total bases.
Harrison tops the majors with 18 hit by pitches — a skill he doens't have to display in Miami.
"Maybe we can let the American League know, 'Hey, as long as you don't hit him, you're good,' " Harrison said. "Maybe we can send out that memo."
There's still a chance another Pirate or two could join Harrison in Miami. Right-hander Ivan Nova and closer Felipe Rivero are candidates to be late additions if pitchers back out of the game because of injury or availability.
"Hopefully, a few things shake out over the next week or so to where a couple of guys who are deserving catch a break," Harrison said.
Nova (8-5, 3.08 ERA) will make his 17th start Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies. The right-hander has won seven of his past 10 decisions.
Nova has allowed more than three earned runs in just three of his 16 outings this year. He worked at least six innings in each of his first 15 starts, but that streak was broken Wednesday when he went five innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"If they ask, of course I'd want to go," Nova said. "It all depends on what day I would pitch after the All-Star break. I don't know yet when I'm pitching next."
Rivero has yielded two earned runs over his past 21 outings (231⁄3 innings). In that span, he has held batters to a .090 average and racked up 27 strikeouts.
Rivero's 0.82 ERA is second best among big league relievers behind the Los Angeles Dodgers' Kenley Jansen (0.79).
Since being acquired July 30, 2016, as part of the Mark Melancon trade, Rivero has put up a 1.77 ERA in 69 outings. That's the third-lowest ERA in the majors in that stretch.
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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