Pirates' Walker hopes for impact addition in offseason
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, 5:50 p.m.
Second baseman Neil Walker doesn't expect the Pirates to abandon their build-from-within approach when filling holes in the roster. But, Walker also hopes the club will add some established impact players this offseason.
“I think there needs be a good balance,” Walker said Friday. “We've brought in guys like A.J. (Burnett) and Wandy (Rodriguez). Adding a couple more pieces like that could really benefit us. It's looking like we're going to need to add a couple starting pitchers. Hopefully, we can bring in another guy like A.J. — someone who can help us out immediately.”
Right-hander Kevin Correia will leave as a free agent. Righty Jeff Karstens, who is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, is not expected to be tendered a contract. Management could fill those two spots in the starting rotation with rookies Kyle McPherson and Jeff Locke. The Pirates also are seeking a starting catcher and bullpen help.
A young, inexpensive lineup doesn't necessarily doom a team to failure. The St. Louis Cardinals put six homegrown, pre-arbitration players on the field Thursday in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals crushed the San Francisco Giants, 8-3, to take a 3-1 series lead.
However, Walker pointed out the rest of the Cardinals' roster — including Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Kyle Lohse — is neither green nor cheap.
“I think experience is probably the biggest thing,” Walker said. “When you've got an organization that's as successful as the Cardinals and you have guys like Wainwright, Carpenter and Beltran ... when you get into these (playoff) situations, the younger guys are looking at the older guys and seeing how they react to things. It's a testament to the veteran leadership more than the performance of the younger guys.”
Notes: Walker continues to recover from the herniated disc that caused him to be shut down with a month left in the season. He will not need surgery, but has not yet increased his workouts to full speed. “By the middle of November, I should be back to 100 percent, which is kind of right on schedule,” he said. “I think I'll probably be a little more cautious, with how much I do at the start of spring training. But I don't think anything is going to hold me back overall.” ... Walker will sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the new Dick's Sporting Goods store in Cranberry. ... Manager Clint Hurdle will be a guest DJ at 2 p.m. Tuesday on WYEP-FM (91.3).
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7811.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.