Red-hot Harrison making presence known

Red-hot Harrison making presence known

PITTSBURGH -- Josh Harrison, heretofore an afterthought to the extent he wore out the Pittsburgh-to-Indianapolis shuttle a year ago, has become the right-field guest who refuses to leave.

How appropriate for Harrison to have made the most of his 15 minutes of baseball fame, that pop culture slogan having been coined by Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol, whose museum is two blocks from PNC Park's home plate.

Harrison still has made only 14 starts this season -- only once in the first 29 games -- but has hit .345 (20-for-58) in them. Among other things, he has sparked and amused his teammates.

"We have kiddingly said in here, 'He thinks he invented the game.' The last two weeks ... I mean, talk about a blast," said manager Clint Hurdle, alluding to the fact everything Harrison has touched has turned to baseball gold.

Catching it, throwing it, hitting it ... Harrison has been all over it in leading the Bucs to five wins in six games, entering Sunday's game.

Last season, Harrison was optioned to the Triple-A Indians four times within the first three months of the season. Most awkwardly, two of the demotions came while the Bucs were engaged with Cincinnati, the hometown where Harrison is a big deal.

"Mom and Dad have got to be rocking in Cincinnati," Hurdle said with a smile. "And his posse ... when we'd go to Cincinnati, believe me they'd let me know about it when he isn't playing."

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.