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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mariners' Taijuan Walker plays catch


By on 3/06/2014 06:00:00 PM

The Seattle Mariners had to shut down pitcher Taijuan Walker for a week on February 28 with shoulder inflammation. After seven days of sitting on the sideline, he took his first step toward getting back on the mound.



By DVD R W via Wikimedia Commons
Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reported the top prospect threw from 60 feet with Mark Rogers for about three minutes. Walker admitted that he felt a little uneasy before taking the field:
I was a little nervous about it, especially being out seven days and not really knowing what to expect, but I was pretty happy with the results.
As one can imagine, it was a boring week for Walker as he waited to throw:
Seven days felt like months. I was getting bored. I was looking forward to this day all week. I can’t imagine being out for longer. It really sucks watching everyone go out there and compete and pitch and have fun.  And I’m just sitting there.
Divish details that Walker's journey back to the mound won't be quick. He will throw from 75 feet on Friday, and must be pain free before moving onto long toss. He will engage in long toss multiple times before being cleared to start throwing bullpens.

The Mariners are counting on Walker to be a significant piece of their starting rotation this season. He posted a 2.93 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013, including 160 strikeouts in 141.1 innings prior to being promoted to the big leagues. He went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched with Seattle to close out his season.

You can follow Matt on Twitter at @mmusico8.

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