Neil Walker 2B PIT 10 Days

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 17 Days

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 18 Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

Neil Walker 2B PIT 7 Months

Walker went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a walk Thursday against the Phillies.

The second baseman probably should've had two RBI -- as Andrew McCutchen only advanced from second to third on his double off the center field fence. Nevertheless, he rebounded nicely from an 0-for-5 on his birthday the previous night. Walker and Robinson Cano are the only second basemen to register at least 20 doubles and 10 homers in each of the last five seasons. The Pittsburgh second baseman also needs just one dinger to reach 20 for the first time in his career.