Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the fact that the Seattle Mariners pitching staff has been performing extremely well in the first week of the season, Seattle still has two pitchers coming back from injury.
Taijuan Walker is one of those and he could be joining the Mariners as early as next week or so.
After Friday’s rehab start at High-A High Desert, the reviews are all extremely positive. He threw 72 pitches while allowing only one earned run and four hits in 4.1 IP. He walked one and struck out seven.
According to reports, Walker is scheduled to throw about 90 pitches in his next rehab start – regarded as being MLB ready. Manager Lloyd McClendon said he wasn’t sure where Walker’s next start would be but said he would prefer it to be in warm weather.
With Walker set to come back to the rotation, the question is: Who goes down? Only Chris Young hasn’t pitched this season (he was scheduled for the game that was rained out on Friday). We can only assume that he will be the odd man out unless he absolutely dominates in his start Thursday at home against Oakland.
Regardless, when Hisashi Iwakuma comes back to the rotation at the end of the month – early May at the latest we assume – there will be one less spot in the rotation yet again.