PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Pittsburgh Pirates Second Baseman Neil Walker is off to a powerful start at the plate this year, and he joined Starkey and Mueller to talk about that, his future with the team and what the veteran players think about top prospect Gregory Polanco still being at AAA.
With just one year of arbitration left for Walker after this season, and talks in the past of a contract extension stalling, we asked him about the last team he and the team had serious negotiations about a long-term deal.
“It’s been a while,” Walker said. “My focus certainly is on year-to-year with arbitration. Until we go down that path, that’s kind of where things stand. It’s just kind of the way you have to be at this point in your career as far as the arbitration process works. Certainly it could be tough, we’ll see.”
Walker went on to say that his goal is to remain in Pittsburgh.
When the topic of Gregory Polanco was brought up to Walker, he was somewhat guarded in talking about when the teams top prospect should get called up.
“I have to tread somewhat lightly with that topic,” Walker told us. “Gregory is going to be up here soon, we all know that. That’s all that I can really say, that’s all that we know, and he’s an incredibly talented young man and he’s going to make an impact we feel at this level. It’s going to be sooner rather than later. Of course, the fact that we’re not quite playing how we feel like we should be playing, people are going to look for anything they can. But the fact of the matter is, it’s not going to be long before hes up here and making an impact.”
Click the audio link below to hear Walker talk about how he changed his approach from the right side of the plate, his improved power numbers, and how Manager Clint Hurdle is handling the teams slow start.