Hurdle lauds Barmes for defensive prowess

Hurdle lauds Barmes for defensive prowess

PITTSBURGH -- Clint Barmes has never won a Gold Glove Award, and it's not often his name is mentioned alongside the likes of premier shortstops such as the Marlins' Jose Reyes and the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins.

But the Pirates shortstop knows his way around the position, and the job Barmes has done there this season has pleased manager Clint Hurdle.

"He's steady. He's solid," Hurdle said. "He's got a slow heartbeat in the middle of the infield."

While Barmes hasn't exactly set the world on fire with his bat, Hurdle said he's done a good job of not letting that affect his fielding.

"He's definitely won us some games with his glove," Hurdle said.

At the plate, Barmes brings a meager .194 average into Saturday's game against Kansas City. But that's up from a week ago, when it sat at .167.

Since June 3, the shortstop has seven hits in 16 at-bats, good enough for an average of .438. In his only previous two at-bats against Saturday night Royals starter Vin Mazzaro, Barmes was 1-for-2, with a double and a strikeout.