Big Lead Sports Bar



Fresh off of Monday's dropped doubleheader at Cincinnati in front of an estimated 800 fans, the Pirates announced their first September call-ups: pitcher Virgil Vasquez and Pittsburgh's own Neil Walker, a third baseman.

Walker, the Pirates' 2004 1st-round draft pick out of Pine Richland HS, hit .264 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 95 games for Class AAA Indianapolis this season, missing six weeks to a knee injury. He was originally drafted as a catcher but moved to third in 2007. His minor league career has been marred by injuries, most notably by wrist surgery following the 2005 season. He is currently ranked as the #6 prospect in the Pirate organization by Baseball America. A local guy suiting up for the Buccos is nothing new (see: Peters, Chris), but a lot of people will be pulling for Walker to have some level of success.

As for Vasquez, he's already started seven games for the big club this year, to the tune of 2-5, 6.09 in 34 innings. So if you're expecting the second coming of Nolan Ryan, your hopes are probably too high.

Finally this morning, there's an interesting take by Joe Starkey on the Pirates' new regime's judgment so far, specifically relating to their own free agents. For those like me who've been downing Neal Huntington Kool-Aid by the trough, it's a grim dose of what the future could bring.

Walker, Vasquez joining Pirates [PBC Blog]

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