Busy Harrison gets breather in opener vs. Reds

Busy Harrison gets breather in opener vs. Reds

Busy Harrison gets breather in opener vs. Reds
PITTSBURGH -- Josh Harrison, the Bucs' valuable and versatile rover, found yet another new position on Monday afternoon: The bench.

Harrison was left out of the starting lineup for the series opener against the Reds, his first "miss" in two weeks. He had started 11 consecutive games since May 16 -- at five different positions. The majority came in right field, where Harrison settled in as a regular, but the most interesting scenario happened Sunday.

Harrison started at short to give Clint Barmes a day off in the finale of the sweep over the Cubs, and manager Clint Hurdle received assurance that, indeed, Harrison could play the position.

Oh, Harrison had often been there, just hadn't played much there.

"We went through his first three, four games there, and he got like one ball [hit to him]," Hurdle said, grinning. "And it was the same in Spring Training. I'd be asked, 'Can he play short?' and I'm like, 'Yeah, I think so.'

"But he's continued to work hard. And now we're seeing some positive things from him."

Prior to Sunday and including the preseason, Harrison had made 23 appearances at short and averaged fewer than two chances in them. Sunday's action included both triggering a double play and being the pivot man in another.

Harrison owned the National League's longest active hitting streak at 10 games, until going 0-for-6 in the last two games against the Cubs.