PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have won eight of their last 10, are three games above .500 for the first time in nearly three months and are 5-2 since Neil Walker returned from the disabled list.
One of the only places the numbers aren't in Walker's favor lately is in the National League All-Star voting, where he trails the Phillies' Chase Utley by almost one million votes. But that's far from the front of his mind.
"If it happens, it's great, if it doesn't -- there's a lot of very deserving people," Walker said. "… I'm back, I'm healthy, happy, we're playing good baseball -- in my opinion, that's the most important thing."
Walker returned to the Pirates' lineup last Tuesday after missing 16 days to recover from an appendectomy. Walker has hit safely in four consecutive games, but is batting .200 (5-for-25) since he was activated with no multi-hit games. For the season, Walker is hitting .273/.341/.432 and his 11 homers are the most of any NL second baseman.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.