Pirates activate Neil Walker from the disabled list


Pittsburgh activated Neil Walker from the disabled list after the second baseman missed three weeks with a lacerated finger.

Walker needed six stitches after being spiked by Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma on April 27.

After initially turning to Brandon Inge at second base in Walker’s absence the Pirates moved on to Jordy Mercer. But despite hitting three homers in nine games Mercer is headed back to Triple-A to make room on the roster for Walker.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.