Phillies: Could Neil Walker have played his last MLB game?

Neil Walker #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Neil Walker #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Recently designated Phillies utility player Neil Walker may have played his last MLB game

After being designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies just nine days after he helped win a game for the team, 35-year-old Neil Walker could have potentially seen his last day on a big-league roster.

Not many teams in the big leagues have an interest when it comes to a player, or the need to sign a player, who is well past his prime. While Walker’s ability to play several different positions on the field could pique interest from teams who are in desperate need of depth, he was largely designated from the Phillies — ironically — because he could not play one position in particular: center field.

Manager Joe Girardi told reporters that Walker was designated in favor of Ronald Torreyes because the team “needed more versatile defensive coverage,” particularly in center field.

Walker played five different positions for the Phillies this season, including second base (27 2/3 innings), first base (24 1/3 innings), third base (12 innings), left field (2 innings), and even two-thirds of an inning as pitcher.

Another thing working against Walker’s favor is his numbers. The versatile position player has a career .267/. 338/.426 slash line, but this season slashed just .231/.244/.308 spanning 18 games and 41 plate appearances.

Just nine days prior to the team parting ways with him, Walker essentially won the game for the Phillies and starting pitcher Zack Wheeler opposite the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals, starting at first base to give Rhys Hoskins time off. With the game scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, while facing perennial Cy Young Award favorite Max Scherzer, Walker produced a one-out, two-RBI single. Overall in the 3-0 Phillies win, Walker went 3-for-3; he was the only player on either side with multiple hits in the contest.

The problem for Walker is, if you take out that game, he went 6-for-36 (.167) in all other games while donning red pinstripes, producing only six hits and one RBI while striking out 13 times.

Without a formal announcement in regards to retirement from Walker himself, there is only speculation on what his MLB future holds. Walker is mostly remembered for his seven years with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2009 to 2015, when he won a Silver Slugger Award and finished fifth in the National League Rookie of the Year Award race.

Whether Walker finds himself in a new uniform is something that only time can tell.

Phillies replace Neil Walker on roster with Ronald Torreyes. light. Related Story