04/21/08 8:08 PM ET
Barmes starting at second -- for now
Hurdle mum about officially naming everyday starter at position
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
But Barmes was in the starting lineup Monday night against the Phillies for the sixth time in eight games, and Hurdle is riding his production (.389 average, one home run, eight RBIs).
Hurdle also hopes to get rookie Jayson Nix, the Opening Day starter, some at-bats to see if he can gain a rhythm that'll help him out of his current funk (.132). Hurdle says he owes it to Nix to give him a run of playing time. Nix also could be taking ground balls at shortstop and third; before the current stretch, Barmes' role was to play the three positions.
Another facet of the second-base situation is Jeff Baker, who has made just three starts, two at second base and one at first. It's not as if at-bats at Triple-A Colorado Springs are a possibility, since neither Nix nor Baker can be sent down without being exposed to waivers.
Hurdle is hoping "to get the maximum production out of the three guys involved," but Barmes is max-producing to the tune of .323 in his six total starts this season.
"Barmes has to get first shot now and get every opportunity to ride the momentum he's picked up," Hurdle said.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.