Earlier today, Seattle Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish reported that the team was going to be shutting down starter Taijuan Walker for the remainder of the season.
The 23-year-old has thrown a career high 169.2 innings this season, compiling an 11-8 record and 4.56 ERA. For the young righty, it’s a good full start to an MLB career which has been hampered badly by injuries. Coming into the season, Walker had thrown a grand total of 63 innings.
It’s been a very up and down season for Taijuan Walker. He started off terribly posting an ERA above 5.00 in both April and May. After that though, he was able to calm down and pitched solidly throughout the rest of the year. The biggest key for Taijuan Walker was walks. In his first 10 starts, he walked a whopping 23 batters. In his final 19, he only walked 17 batters as he got his control settled. The Shreveport native also started to show more confidence in mixing up his pitches, and was able to locate his deadly changeup much more effectively.
At this point, there really wasn’t a reason to keep Taijuan Walker pitching. There isn’t a need to see him fall injured, and he’s already thrown far more innings than he ever has. The former top prospect is going to be an essential part of the Mariners rotation for years to come, and pushing him in an already lost season isn’t going to accomplish anything. The year started on a down note, but Walker went on to prove that he has all the makings of a future ace.