Originally posted on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 5/7/13
Neil Walker could be back in the Pirates’ lineup by Sunday. (Photo Credit: David Hague) Pirates second baseman Neil Walker will begin his rehab assignment Thursday at Double-A Altoona. Walker will play two games in Altoona, according to 93.7 The Fan’s Dan Zangrilli, starting with Thursday night’s game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels at 6:30 p.m. ET. Walker could be back on the Pirates’ roster as early as Sunday in New York, per Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He injured his right hand on April 26 sliding into second base and had to get six stitches after Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma accidentally spiked him. Walker was originally day-to-day, but the Pirates placed him on the 15-day disabled list Friday and recalled infielder Jordy Mercer. “I feel like I’m pretty close back to 100 percent as far as the hand goes,” Walker told Sawchik. After Walker’s injury, Brandon Inge started five straight games at second base, but Mercer has started the last three games since his promotion and is in tonight’s lineup at second base. If the Pirates want to keep Mercer on the roster (3-for-12 with a home run since his promotion after hitting .333 with an .852 OPS in Triple-A), it could spell the end for veteran John McDonald. The 38-year-old infielder is hitting 2-for-26 on the season after posting a .681 OPS last year for Arizona. McDonald was brought in largely for his defense and experience, and has made seven starts at shortstop, but could be obsolete if the Pirates feel Mercer can share the starting job with Clint Barmes.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Owner on Deflategate: 'Made a mountain out of a mole hill'

Lee: Celtics will turn heads, have similarities to Warriors

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Weeden compares QB situation to 'backing up Derek Jeter'

Matt Hasselbeck went to E.R. with illness on Tuesday

Calipari on 2015-16 Kentucky basketball team: ‘We stink’


Reports: Andrew Luck out against Texans

Rodgers on INT-free season: ‘I don’t think it is’ possible

Tyrann Mathieu: Lions may not know their own offense

NHL awards predictions for the 2015-16 season

WATCH: Maple Leafs use first coach's challenge, win

Ex-Patriot Jeremy Mincey: I'll respect Belichick 'until the day I die'

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Weeden compares QB situation to 'backing up Derek Jeter'

Pirates fan dresses as Steve Bartman, fails to curse Cubs

LeBron takes in-game selfie with fans in Cincinnati

MLB postseason power rankings

NHL awards predictions for the 2015-16 season

Quiz: MLB pitchers with 100+ career postseason strikeouts

Top storyline for each Week 5 NFL game

Which teams have underperformed or surprised in 2015

The six NFL players most likely to be traded by the deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker