Even though the Mariners won their Cactus League opener Thursday, spring training is off to a rocky start. Gifted RHP Taijuan Walker, expected to be a major part of the rotation this season, has been shut down for five to seven days with inflammation in his right shoulder, the club said Friday.
Walker underwent an examination Thursday by Dr. Ed Khalfayan at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. It’s expected that Walker will resume his regular throwing program after taking anti-inflammatory medication for a week.
While there is no reason to think Walker’s situation is serious, he was already behind schedule this spring. He may not be ready to join the rotation by Opening Day.
Walker made his major league debut Aug. 30, 2013 at 21 and recorded a 7-1 win over the Houston Astros. He allowed two hits in five innings. Walker made two more starts, taking no-decisions in a 6-4 win over Kansas City and in a 6-4 loss to the Astros.
In 15 innings, Walker was 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA. He allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs with 12 strikeouts and four walks.