The Pittsburgh Pirates have been without second baseman Neil Walker since he left Saturday’s game with what was described as discomfort in his right side. None of that will change on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics, as Walker will once again be out of the line-up.
With Walker’s absence, Jody Mercer gets the start at shortstop with Clint Barmes getting the call at second base.
The Pirates have been on a three-game skid since Saturday against the Chicago Cubs, so they will be looking to turn things around and find they way back in the win column.
Pittsburgh is currently a half-game behind the Cincinnati Reds for first-place in the NL Central, so a win can get them back in the top spot.
Another loss wouldn’t be the end of the world for the Pirates, but they want to enter the All-Star break on a positive run so that they can avoid the post-break meltdown that has haunted the team for years.