Second baseman Neil Walker has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right side soreness. The Pirates have recalled Josh Harrison, who is in the ballpark with the team after coming from Columbus.
Walker injured himself in Saturday’s game in Chicago and has not played since. He took some swings and said he was feeling a little better Monday, but now will not return to the field until after the All-Star Break. The setback is unrelated to Walker’s injury last year, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
“There’s gonna be a tipping point when one’s gonna make more sense than the other,” Hurdle said earlier Tuesday. “Today’s game is important.”
Harrison returns to the Pirates after being optioned to Triple-A on July 2. He did not have to wait the usual 10 days to return since a player was placed on the Major League DL. The infielder continues to shine for Indianapolis, hitting .317/.373/.507 this season with an Internaional League-best 29 doubles and the 8th-best OPS in the league (.881). Harrison supplements a Pittsburgh bench that included only four position players the last two games.
Walker is eligible to return as early as the Pirates’ series in Washington begins on July 22, which would mean he misses 10 games to the injury. He could take a rehab stint in Indianapolis, as the Indians play a four-game road series July 18-21.
I like Neil Walker a lot, but he is getting a well-deserved rep of being injury-prone, and unable to play anywhere near a full season. 125 games last year, and has already missed 14 games this year and we are only in July. I wonder if that was a consideration of the Pirates in not offering a long term deal last off-season. I love the fact he is a hometowner and see him as one of the core resources on this team, but he has to be in the lineup.