Neil Walker 2B PIT 1 day ago

Walker is batting .366 (15-for-41) with two homers, 10 RBI and 1.092 OPS this spring.

He figures to once again bat in the middle of the order against right-handed pitching, increasing his chances for RBI. Walker's main concern is his chronic back issues and he's avoided all such problems thus far. The second baseman has compiled the fifth-most at-bats of any Pirates player in the Grapefruit League.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 2 weeks ago

Walker socked a three-run homer Tuesday, giving him seven hits -- including five doubles and a home run -- in 17 at-bats.

The Pirates second baseman figures to be extra motivated in 2015, given that he's playing for a long-term deal. He'll also look to keep newly-acquired Jung-Ho Kang from stealing his at-bats. Walker hit a career-high 23 homers last season.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 3 weeks ago

Walker (leg) returned to the Pirates' lineup Wednesday, going 0-for-3.

More important than Walker's results are the fact that he's seemingly healthy after taking a pitch to the leg Monday. It's likely he sustained little more than a bruise, which shouldn't provide any complications in the games to come.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 3 weeks ago

Walker, who was hit in the leg by a pitch Monday, is not in the lineup for Tuesday's Grapefruit League game, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The Pirates haven't provided an update, but it seems likely that Walker's absence from the lineup is related to Monday's plunking. The 29-year-old second baseman is coming off arguably his best season, having set career-high marks for home runs (23) and slugging percentage (.467) in 2014.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 2 months ago

Walker lost his arbitration case and will make $8 million in 2015, Tom Singer of MLB.com reports.

Walker argued that he deserved $9 million after slashing .271/.342/.467 with 23 homers and 76 RBI last season, but the arbitration panel sided with the Pirates. While Walker's 13.9% HR/FB rate last season was above his norm (10.1%), his .288 BABIP was nearly 20 points below his career mark (.307), so there's little reason to think the 29-year-old won't return strong value in his seventh major league season.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 4 months ago

Not surprisingly, the Pirates tendered Walker a contract prior to Tuesday's deadline.

The second baseman bashed a career-high 23 dingers in 2014, compiling a .271/.342/.467 line in 571 plate appearances. The Pirates will soon face a dilemma with Walker, as the second-year arbitration eligible infielder is due for a raise in the $10 million per season neighborhood. He'll be 31 years of age when he's an unrestricted free agent in 2017. His history of back problems and already-declining defensive skills put the small-market Bucs in a precarious public relations position with the Pittsburgh native. As a result, it's not inconceivable the team looks to deal him prior to free agency.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 6 months ago

Walker snapped a 1-for-23 skid Thursday, belting his 21st homer against the Braves.

The Pirates gave Walker a day off Wednesday and the rest paid dividends. The second baseman will bat cleanup Friday night as the Pirates look to secure and possibly improve their playoff lot with a big weekend in Cincinnati.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 6 months ago

Walker is not in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Braves.

The team will give him a night off in an effort to find his batting stroke. Walker has just one hit in his last 23 at-bats. Clint Barmes will get the nod at second base in his place.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 6 months ago

Walker, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Tuesday, has just one hit in his last 23 at-bats.

Walker missed a week in early August with a bad back and it's possible the symptoms have returned. In any case, he's grown cold recently, striking out eight times without a walk in his last six games.

Neil Walker 2B PIT 6 months ago

Walker went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI on Sunday.

After going 0-for-5 on his birthday Thursday, the switch hitter has strung together seven hits in his last 15 at-bats. Walker leads all NL second basemen with 20 home runs (while playing at second base).