PITTSBURGH -- In an effort to enhance his versatility, Josh Harrison will head down to the instructional league at the end of the regular season to get some reps in as a shortstop. Harrison's stay in Bradenton, Fla., is expected to last about 10 days.
Shortstop isn't an entirely foreign position to Harrison, though there is likely to be some rustiness as he steps back into a position he hasn't played regularly in years. Outside of one game with Triple-A Indianapolis this year, Harrison last played short in high school and college. The Pirates have used him only at second and third in the Majors this season.
"I feel like I can do it," Harrison said of playing short. "I know I've done [it] before. I'm a confident guy and I know my abilities and I'm a quick learner. I'm going to go down there and learn as much as possible while I am down there."
Harrison's best chance at being on next year's Opening Day roster is to fill the role of a backup infielder. Proving to the Pirates that he can hold his own defensively at short would make Harrison a more attractive option for such a role.
"Any other position I can play adds more value, which is more helpful when [manager] Clint [Hurdle] is putting up a lineup or needs to make a double switch," Harrison said. "I want to try to be helpful in any way I can."
Harrison has played sparingly since Pedro Alvarez returned from Triple-A earlier this month. In 61 games this season, Harrison has hit .265 and posted a .276 on-base percentage.