The Pirates have lost six of their last eight, falling to six games back of the Reds in the National League Central standings. And here’s even more bad news.
From beat writer Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette comes word that second baseman Neil Walker was lifted in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers after suffering a dislocated finger on his right hand in a nasty collision with Dodgers baserunner Mark Ellis.
Josh Harrison slid over from third base and Pedro Alvarez entered to play the hot corner.
Walker, 26, is batting .290/.353/.452 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in 114 games played this season. The Pirates will reevaluate him Thursday morning before deciding whether a disabled list stint is necessary.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.