Impresses in first spring start Walker started a Cactus League loss to the Brewers on Monday and allowed an earned run on four hits and a wild pitch across three innings. He struck out four.
Impact The deliberate approach the Mariners took with Walker to start spring was seemingly validated in Monday's start, as the oft-injured right-hander looked impressive while facing big-league hitters in a Mariners uniform for the first time since September 2016. Daniel Kramer of MLB.com reports Walker's appearance got off to an inauspicious start with a leadoff home run by Lorenzo Cain. However, the right-hander impressively rebounded and ultimately struck out both Cain and Christian Yelich -- the latter on a new spike curveball -- during his 43-pitch outing. Kramer adds that Walker's velocity topped out at 95 mph, a sign that both his previously troublesome elbow and shoulder are in fine shape. Manager Scott Servais was impressed with the new version of the breaking pitch that Walker deployed, talking it up as a weapon his likely No. 5 starter could find consistent success with. "Taijuan's curve is quite a bit different," Servais said. "We talked about some mechanical changes that he's made. He's shortened up his arm stroke. He always had a good curveball. This one is much more consistent. It's got more bite and more finish to it."
MARCH 10, 2020 • ROTOWIRE