By John Boyle
Mariners pitcher Taijuan threw a 40-pitch bullpen session on his road back from the shoulder injury that has kept him out of the early part of this season, and he feels like he’s getting close to returning.
“It felt really good,” he said. “I felt like everything was in synch this time. Last bullpen it was getting the feel for the arm and everything, but this time it felt like the mechanics were in synch, everything was pretty much locked in. The biggest thing today was fastball command to both sides was really good.”
Walker said he threw, “fastballs, change ups, curve balls and two cutters. A little bit of everything.”
This was his second bullpen session this week, and if all goes well, Walker hopes to throw a simulated game, then go on a rehabilitation assignment.
Walker said how his shoulder responds to today’s session will be telling, but he’s encouraged by how he felt after throwing a bullpen on Monday: “I felt really good. Normal soreness a little bit, but not in one particular spot, just like I would after any other bullpen.”
Walker, who thought he was close to returning earlier before being scratched from a start in Tacoma because of stiffness in his shoulder, admitted it’s been tough staying patient during this process.
“Oh yeah, there are days it’s very hard, especially because the team’s playing really well right now,” he said. “You want to get back out there and pitch, not just sitting in the dugout watching and cheering them on. You want to be out there, you want to be on the mound and be in control of a game one time. You want to go out there and help your team win.”