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Walker’s the guy at second; Iwamura to the bench


Manager John Russell said on Monday that Neil Walker will now get the majority of time at second base, and that Aki Iwamura has been moved to the bench.

Walker, a Pine-Richland grad, has hit safely in four of six games since being promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis on May 25 and has doubled three times in the last three games. He made four starts at third and two at second going into Monday’s game starting at second against the Chicago Cubs.

Iwamura, who snapped an 0-for-34 streak at the plate, has struggled all season and is currently batting .173.

“(Walker) has done a nice job,” Russell said. “We’re not giving him the job, but we’ll see how it goes. He still has a lot of work to do and has to fine-tune his skills at second, but he’s made good progress.”

Iwamura’s relegation to the bench doesn’t mean he’s never going to start again, Russell said. But they hope to get him in the weight room more and working more toward full health as far as his knee is concerned. Iwamura had surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament last year while with Tampa Bay and has also missed several games this year with a hamstring injury.

“No player likes being told they’re not going to play much,” Russell said of Iwamura’s reaction to the decision. “It’s not an easy pill to swallow. I’m sure he’s disappointed and upset but hopefully he takes it the right way.”

Russell also said that center fielder Andrew McCutchen will bat leadoff, which was Iwamura’s spot in 35 of 51 games.

“He thrived at leadoff last year and he enjoys it,” Russell said. “We’re trying to set the table for the team and energize the offense.”



  1. david says:

    So, Iwamura is upset and disappointed? So what? The man stinks out loud. He has a bum knee which is totally on the Pirate brass for paying this guy 4 million bucks for a gimp. He can’t hit, can’t field and can’t run. Dude has the range of a castoff from the biggest loser. In fact, if baseball had a biggest loser, he’d win hands down. Another great move by Pirate GM Neil Scummington. And now, Charlie Morton has a tired shoulder? And he’s had it all year? Hahahaha. There’s an old saying, don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining. He should have a tired neck from turning around and watching all his pitches fly into orbit. And where is Brad Lincoln? Perfecting his changeup? Another BS story from the forked tongue of Scummington. Jeezus, what a band of misfits.

  2. Mike Kuhn says:

    I’m happy for Neil Walker getting a chance. I saw the game yesterday, and he was right on each pitch. He could have gone 4 for 4 on another given day.

    Up until this year, I have never seen Iwamura play. Given his past, you would expect a decent batting average, but maybe the league change has him behind the 8-ball. He just looks awkward to me in his plate appearances. Like he is more defensive than trying to drive the ball.

    In regards to the above post…Charlie Morton leads the league in losses, so I think the brass just wants him to leave the scene for a while so he can’t be in line to lose 20 games. I’m not sure why we haven’t seen Brad Lincoln yet either. How can he do worse?

  3. Danny Murtaugh Jr. says:

    Hey, lay off Larry Huntington. I mean, him, Curly Coonely and Moe Nutting are doing the best jobs they can. They are, after all, THE BEST MANAGEMENT TEAM IN ALL OF SPORTS, MAYBE IN ALL OF THE UNIVERSE.

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