Aug 30, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (27) pitches during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Seattle Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker won’t be joining the ball club anytime soon. After two successful rehab starts coming back from shoulder trouble during spring training, Walker has now been shut down for another few weeks with a “shoulder impingement”.
"“What we’re going to do is back him off for about two weeks and take care of the area. Then, he’ll begin throwing, and we’ll have to build him back up,” said GM Jack Zduriencik. “I think you have to take a long-range view on this, the big-picture view and realize this is a little setback. No question about it. But in the long run, we’ve got to do what’s best for Taijuan.”"
Walker missed time in spring with a shoulder issue and started the season on the DL. In his first two rehab starts, he had allowed only one earned run in 9.1 IP. He was scheduled to pitch Tuesday in Triple-A Tacoma, for what may have been his last tuneup before joining the big club. But he was scratched from that start when he felt he couldn’t get loose.
So it is now being called a shoulder impingement. According to WebMD, impingement occurs when the rotator cuff is pinched between the humerus (arm bone) and scapula (shoulder blade). It can lead to structural damage if not treated properly. Structural damage includes but is not limited to rotator cuff tears and in some cases a ruptured bicep.
So, needless to say, the club is going to take it easy with their prized arm for the time being. Looks like we won’t see Walker make his 2014 Mariners debut until at least May.