I just re-did the computation on Neil Walker's service time, and by my calculations, May 20 is the date where he will not be able to get 172 days this season.
Told by management before the season that he would be groomed as a utility player, Walker played about equally in left field, second base and first base the first month of the season. This has changed, though, since Walker's excellent offensive numbers have opened eyes both among the Pirate faithful and in the front office.
He has played 2B every day exclusively for a week now, and this has forced Argenis Diaz and Brian Friday into sharing the shortstop position. The only logical explanation for this would be that Walker is being prepped for a call up and second base will be his primary position.
First question to you: Who should be sent down when Walker comes up?
Should they designate Delwyn Young for assignment? This would effectively replace DY with Walker in the utility role and allow him some starts to play himself into the position.
Should they release Akinori Iwamura? Since Aki is not going to be a long term solution and seems to have no trade value, is it better to try to hold onto whatever value Delwyn Young has to the org instead of risk losing him?
- Should they option Jeff Clement? This would avoid losing DY and still hold out the hope of a return for Aki. Pearce would get the majority of starts at 1B and they could get another long look at him through June or July.
Second question to you: Who should bat lead off if Walker plays second base?