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Pirates notebook: Walker heads to DL after appendectomy

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker slides into Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy during the first inning Sunday, June 8, 2014, at PNC Park. Walker was called out on the play.

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Monday, June 9, 2014, 7:06 p.m.

Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went on the 15-day disabled list Monday after undergoing an appendectomy earlier in the day.

Walker was scratched from the Pirates' starting lineup 45 minutes before game time. The team later said that he was suffering from abdominal pain, and manager Clint Hurdle declined to provide details following their 6-2 win against the Cubs.

The team made the announcement an hour after the game ended.

While Walker is out of action, Josh Harrison and Clint Barmes will play second base. Harrison started there Monday when Walker was scratched. Right field will be filled by top prospect Gregory Polanco, whom the Pirates announced they would recall from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday.

In 62 games with the Pirates this season, Walker is batting. 280 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.

Cole test ailing shoulder

Gerrit Cole threw 25 pitches from 60 feet, the first time he had picked up a ball since Wednesday in San Diego.

That was the day the Pirates' young right-hander went to play catch following his start the night before, and the day they addressed his shoulder fatigue.

“He's had four days off, so he's going to be a little bit off, but we're just going to take one day at a time,” pitching coach Ray Searage said of Monday's session. “Today was good. Now we'll see how tomorrow is, see how he bounces back and go from there.”

Dealing with fatigue is different than dealing with a more specific injury, Searage said.

The coming days will be about gauging Cole's response and recovery before reaching a point where they lay out a more specific plan for his work and return.

“You want to give it enough time to build back up but the throwing is going to be limited, and you have to wait and see how he feels and bounces back,” Searage said. “It's a long process.”

Davis back in

On Sunday, manager Clint Hurdle said he planned to give Gaby Sanchez three consecutive starts at first base and give Ike Davis, in an 0-for-20 slump at the plate, a chance to work on some things.

He changed his mind, however, and started Davis on Monday.

“I went and looked at some more tape, right-handed hitters against (Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson), left-handed hitters against Jackson, watched the at-bats yesterday that Gaby took off a right-hander, the one at-bat Davis took, the patience, and just thought for the next two games let's leverage our best lineup out there against these guys,” Hurdle said.

Sanchez reportedly is a trade candidate.

The Texas Rangers are one team actively searching for a first baseman after losing three already this season.

Early field work for Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez spent part of the afternoon doing some extra field work. Alvarez went into the game with 13 errors, tied with Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond for most in the National League.

“The throwing errors, he's aware of them, we're aware of them,” Hurdle said. “We're trying to make sure we get him in repetitive deliveries, much like a pitcher repeating his delivery. The feet have to keep moving, the throw getting off quicker, those are all things he's working on out there.”

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