Pirates notebook: Walker takes swings, feels close to returning
By Karen Price
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012, 7:59 p.m.
Updated: Saturday, September 8, 2012
Second baseman Neil Walker missed his 10th consecutive game Friday with lower back tightness but said, after taking 30 right-handed swings for the first time, he feels like he's close to returning.
“The inflammation's pretty much all the way out of there, so that's the most important thing,” he said. “I was able to swing today, which was good. The moving up and down and left and right hasn't been an issue, so the biggest hurdle's been swinging.”
Walker said the problem is on the lower left side, so finishing the swing from that side will be the biggest issue over the next few days as he tests the torquing motion.
“I feel pretty confident that I'm going to recover well,” he said. “We'll see how my body reacts (Saturday).”
• Outfielder Starling Marte returned to the lineup, making his first start since Aug. 18 after a stint on the disabled list with a right oblique strain. Marte batted second behind Brock Holt. Manager Clint Hurdle made the decision based on what he's seen from Holt the past four games. “(Holt's) been playing at major league game speed,” Hurdle said. “Marte's going to catch up a little bit. I thought I'd slide him in that spot right in front of Andrew (McCutchen) and see if that's some benefit as well.”
• Outfielder Jose Tabata (left foot contusion) was scheduled to hit Friday then work moving around in the outfield. Hurdle said he anticipated having Tabata available off the bench.
• Pitcher Jeff Karstens (hip flexor) has been playing catch but has yet to throw a bullpen session. That should soon change, Hurdle said, but Karstens is likely to miss another start.
• Pitcher Chad Qualls (left toe irritation) threw a simulated game Friday and is on schedule to come off the disabled list Sunday.
— Karen Price
- Pirates notebook: Cutter a boon for Melancon
- Pirates notebook: Bucs shut down injured Karstens
- Pirates’ road trip could define journey
- Pirates notebook: Melancon relishes rare save opportunity
- Pirates notebook: Penguins jerseys in fashion for road trip
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen scratched with soreness in right knee
- Pirates outfielder Snider certainly proving to be (big) hit
- Pirates notebook: Morton could be back in early June
- Pirates waste strong Burnett start, fall again to Brewers at Miller Park
- Pirates notebook: Botched popup shocks Martin
- Improved roster depth could drive Pirates’ fortunes deep into season
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.