Pirates notebook: Walker takes swings, feels close to returning
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
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.
- Lincoln tries to rejuvenate career in second stint with Pirates
- Pirates willing to consider high salary to keep star McCutchen
- Pirates notebook: Nutting expects club to win division title
- Pirates notebook: Mercer gains celebrity in Kang’s home country
- Pirates notebook: Team has big plans for newcomer Kang
- Team interaction important to Pirates veteran pitcher Burnett
- Pirates looking at ways to make McCutchen’s off days more productive
- Pirates’ Alvarez eager to prove he can play first, regain power stroke
- Pirates notebook: Reliever Bastardo excited about new start
- Pirates acquire ex-Marlins reliever
- Pirates notebook: With roster mostly set, Hurdle stresses position versatility