Neil Walker sits again, might move to disabled list

Pirates Notebook

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Neil Walker did not start his second consecutive game Monday as the pain in his right side persisted.

Walker did not have an MRI Monday, as he had indicated he might, and no MRI was scheduled. He received treatment before batting practice and warmed up on the field with trainer Todd Tomczyk supervising. He then took some ground balls at second base.

Brandon Inge started at second base for the second consecutive game. Manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates had options to fill the void for however long the injury may keep Walker off the field.

"We've got [Clint] Barmes, who can play short," Hurdle said. "We've got [Jordy] Mercer, who could move to second. We've got Inge, who can also play second. We've got a guy in [Class AAA] that's played second most of the season in Josh Harrison if [Walker] went to the DL. There's still multiple fronts out there."


Scouting report

  • Game:

    Pirates vs. Athletics, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park.

  • TV, Radio:

    Root Sports, KDKA-FM (93.7.

  • Probable starters:

    Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.94) vs. RHP Dan Straily (5-2, 4.52).

  • Key Matchup:

    Straily, whose OPS against is 88 points higher to left-handers, vs. Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones.


Putting Walker on the disabled list now would allow him to rest without missing a full complement of games. A scheduled day off Thursday and the four days off for the All-Star break would mean Walker would miss 10 games -- because the Pirates can make the move retroactive to Sunday -- and return July 22 on the road against the Washington Nationals.

Locke's All-Star role limited?

Hurdle said Jeff Locke will start Sunday against the New York Mets. Locke, however, can still participate in the All-Star Game Tuesday in New York on a limited basis.

A rule in the most recent collective bargaining agreement stipulates that pitchers who start the Sunday before the All-Star break have the option of participating or not in the All-Star Game. If Locke chooses to participate, he may only pitch one inning and can set a pitch limit if he chooses.

"We weren't asked to make any adjustment there," Hurdle said. "I would prioritize our need over their need. I just give a big round of applause to the awareness of [San Francisco Giants manager] Bruce [Bochy], the staff, whoever the selection committee was for acknowledging the young man. There will be a couple other pitchers that will go and not be able to pitch."

No Pedro derby

National League Home Run Derby captain David Wright did not select Pedro Alvarez to participate in the event Monday night at Citi Field in New York.

Alvarez, who was selected to his first All-Star team, entered a game Monday with 22 home runs, third in the National League.

Wright selected Colorado Rockies Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer and the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper to join him in the derby. Gonzalez led the NL with 24 home runs. Cuddyer has hit 15 and Harper has 13, but Harper missed all of June with injuries.

Wright said he chose Gonzalez because he was the NL home run leader and Harper because he led the fan voting. Wright then chose Cuddyer, his longtime friend, as the fourth participant.

"The three guys that I asked to do it all said yes and jumped at it," Wright said.

He said he had Alvarez on his initial list of options, among other players.

American League captain Robinson Cano selected Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, who led the majors with 33 home runs after Sunday, and Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers. Fielder won the 2012 derby. Cano has not yet selected his final participant.

Buried treasure

Oakland was 9-0 against the Pirates all time going into the series. That is the most wins without a loss for any team against another since 1900, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

mobilehome - pirates

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and Twitter @BrinkPG.


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