Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Walker Up, Pearce Out & Other Stuff

-- Neil Walker, 24, has just been called up to replace Steve Pearce, who landed on the 15 day DL after spraining his ankle last night. It'll be interesting to see if Walker gets much time; it'll be a juggling act for JR to get innings for both Walker and Bobby Crosby. We'd hope he gets enough at bats to determine if he's the real deal or a bench piece.

Walker, a switch hitter, has a line of .321/.392/.560 with six homers, 18 doubles, two triples, 26 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He's played at first, second, third, and the outfield for Indy, and only been charged with one error during the season.

-- Donnie Veal just went on the minor league DL with tightness in his pitching arm, according to tweets from the beat guys. Good timing; Daniel McCutchen just came off the DL today.

-- CF Alex Presley, who was a lifetime .270 hitter in his first four years in the Pirate system, is tearing it up in Altoona. He went 4-for-5 with a two homers, a double, and a triple with 8 RBIs last night. Presley is hitting .379 with 35 RBI, 26 RS, and a .415 OBP. He's a 5'-9", 180 pound, eighth round draft pick of 2006 from Ol' Miss.

-- Today is the anniversary of the Bambino's final home run, #714, and he hit it here. Ruth blasted it over the Forbes Field roof, the first man to ever clear the stands, and it was the last of three dingers he hit that day. The story is recounted by Robert Dvorchak of the Post-Gazette.

-- If you think Bryce Harper will fall to Pittsburgh, think again. Harper just hit four home runs during a 6-for-6, 10 RBI game in the regional juco playoffs to lead the Southern Nevada Coyotes to the NJCAA World Series, reports John Manuel of Baseball America. Hello, Nationals.

-- If you're wondering who that leaves for the Pirates, Keith Law of ESPN thinks it will be shortstop Manny Machado of Miami Brito High School. He says:
The Pirates' mix includes four or five serious candidates, with Machado and Ole Miss lefty Drew Pomeranz at the top of the list. Pomeranz would cost less and get to the majors much faster, but the big lefty doesn't have Machado's ceiling and hasn't thrown well since he strained a pectoral muscle several weeks ago.
-- Last year's #1 pick Stephen Strasburg has a 0.39 ERA through his first four starts with Triple-A Syracuse, posting a 27/4 K/BB ratio in 23-1/3 innings. Strasburg has a 0.99 ERA and 54/10 K/BB ratio over nine starts between Double-A and Triple-A. See ya' in Washington next month, kid.

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