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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mariners' Taijuan Walker (shoulder) ready for first start of 2014


By on 4/10/2014 02:00:00 PM

After making a second rehab start, Seattle Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker (RHP) is ready for his 2014 debut. Jonathan Mayo of Mariners.com speculates that, with LHP James Paxton on the DL for a lat strain, the Mariners could "finagle" their rotation so that debut comes in Texas on Monday April 14. Wednesday night for Double-A Jackson, Walker allowed three hits and a walk, striking out 10 in five scoreless innings (85 pitches). The team has not announced Walker's return date.

Walker, 21, was shut down at the end of February with right shoulder inflamation. Sports Injury Alert last updated Walker's situation when he made his first rehab start on April 5. During the off-season, the Mariners had several offers for Walker as they sought to upgrade their offense and rotation. Nothing came of it; the Mariners elected to keep the young pitcher who was ranked sixth in MLB's list of top 2014 prospects. 

A first-round draft pick in 2010, Walker made his major-league debut on August 31, 2013, going five innings. He made two more solid starts in September, posting a 3.60 ERA with 12 strikeouts and 4 walks.

Follow Rose Ingberman on Twitter @NatsLady and read her blog Lady and the Nats

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