I'm not sure whether to congratulate the Pirates on a move that I and everyone else has been clamoring for over the past month or to kill them for the completely haphazard, unintelligent way they handled it.
DK just tweeted that John Russell has said that Neil Walker will now be the everyday starter at second base with Aki Iwamura going to the bench. Walker has four extra base hits in 24 at bats. Aki has seven in 156. Walker has seven hits in May, Aki nine--in four times as many at bats. This isn't rocket science.
Although this is clearly the correct move, the PIrates look dumb in their handling of the situation. A week ago GM Neil Huntington was quoted as saying Walker would play the corner infield positions and some leftfield. He would be a bench player who would get the occasional spot start. Second base wasn't out of the question, but it wasn't a position Walker was yet equipped to play every day. A week later he's ready. Apparently. I'm all for the move and with the Pirates not hitting at all, I'm more than happy to have Walker in the lineup over Aki. If Delwyn Young can learn it on the job, so can Neil. And now he can have a singular focus defensively.
But, wow is management starting to sound dumb. First Russell saying Aki, the team's leadoff hitter, not hitting wasn't the reason the team is not scoring runs. Then Russell saying that it was hard to not keep running Ryan Church out there when the guy had one hit in about his last 25 at bats. And now NH saying Walker wouldn't really be used at second and then the team naming him the starter a week later. Geez. No wonder they are such easy targets.
The most laughable scenario of all is going to be if a month from now 1.) Pedro Alvarez is called up because he is raking in Indy. 2.) Walker is in a horrific slump and has fallen off from his excellent first week. 3.) Andy LaRoche is super hot and showing some power, yet has still not taken a ground ball at second base. This certainly can't be ruled out as unlikely. Maybe not probable, but not unlikely. Then after a week of being unable to make a decision the team makes LaRoche the everyday second baseman. The third in six months with little or no preparation defensively.