Walker scratched from Rainiers start

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comApril 16, 2014 

Top Seattle Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker was scratched from his scheduled rehab start with the Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday at Cheney Stadium due to what he described as arm stiffness.

“Taijuan came in, and he was just in the training room, and he said he felt stiff,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “So rather than take any kind of chances ... we’ll just back him off and re-evaluate him (Wednesday); see where he’s at.”

Walker, 21, experienced shoulder soreness early in spring training. He started the season on Seattle’s 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder impingement.

His recovery had included two rehab starts. On April 4 with Advanced-A High Desert, he allowed one earned run on four hits and struck out seven over 4 innings. On April 9 with Double-A Jackson, he struck out 10 over five shutout innings.

He had been scheduled for approximately 90 pitches with Triple-A Tacoma.

Zduriencik said there was no set plan for Walker had he started Tuesday.

“If he had come out here and done well tonight — depending on how he would have looked, what we would have seen — I think you evaluate,” he said. “What I said at the beginning: With a kid like this, we want to make sure when he gets to the big leagues, he’s ready to be in the big leagues.”

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com @donruiztnt

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