Walker could be shut down for final week

Walker could be shut down for final week

NEW YORK -- With Neil Walker having to sit out a second consecutive game for the first time since returning from injury, manager Clint Hurdle on Wednesday conceded the possibility of the second baseman just being shut down for the season's final week.

Walker has been playing every other day since ending a three-week absence due to the residual effect of lower back spasms and tightness on Sept. 14. But he sat out the second and third games of the series against the Mets.

"Yeah, we're talking about it," Hurdle said about the possibility of having Walker sit out the remaining seven games, as well. "When he feels good, adrenaline can flare up and he can play. And there's days he can't. You don't want to not let a man play who wants to play and is capable of playing."

Walker is not explicitly in favor of shutting it down. But he admitted his energy is not at Major League levels.

"I seem to have one good run in me every day. And after that first at-bat, it's gone," Walker said.

"The energy he has at the start has been tough to maintain," Hurdle said. "I just know that when he does play, the next day he's not at the same comfort level as he'd been the morning before."

The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native was well on his way to a career season when his back went out on Aug. 27. He already had a career-high 14 homers and had driven in 69 runs in 127 games, compared to 83 RBIs in 159 games last season.