It’s official. After all the speculation and the setbacks and the drama, Taijuan Walker is set to be called up to make his first start of the season for the Seattle Mariners on Monday against the Astros. This according to Lloyd McClendon, courtesy of Greg Johns of MLB.com.
Mariners fans have been waiting patiently for Walker to be ready to go after dealing with a shoulder impingement this spring and suffering setbacks during his rehab.
I guess I can’t say it’s official until the Mariners actually make the move, but according to McClendon in the article:
“As of now, if all goes well and it’s not official, but we’ll start Walker on Monday and a move is pending,”
Walker has made six starts in Triple-A Tacoma with a record of 2-1 and a 4.11 ERA. His last start was a complete game four-hit shutout of Oklahoma City on Wednesday. He made three starts for the Mariners at the end of 2013 going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA.
His opponent, the Houston Astros, he is already familiar with. Two of his three starts last season came against Houston where he was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in those two starts.
To clear room for Walker, a subsequent roster move will need to be made. Brandon Maurer, who was recently recalled as a reliever when Erasmo Ramirez was sent back to Tacoma, is the likely target, though he has pitched well since returning (3 IP, 0 ER, 6 K).
Walker is the top-rated prospect in Mariners organization and has been the subject of multiple trade rumors. Mostly because he is thought be the centerpiece of any major trade the Mariners would look to pull off. There has been no indication that the club is willing to part with Walker.
But if he returns and has immediate success, he will draw a lot of interest from clubs as we approach the July 31st trade deadline.