The much anticipated—and oft-delayed—2014 debut of Taijuan Walker is almost here, with the youngster scheduled to start tonight’s game for the Mariners in Houston. It’s been known since late last week that Walker was going to start tonight’s game, but it became official this afternoon with the Mariners announcing he has been recalled from Tacoma (outfielder Stefan Romero was optioned to Tacoma after Sunday’s game).
Walker, 21, was expected to open the season in Seattle’s rotation, but shoulder soreness in spring training set him back, as did a flare up of that same shoulder issue during an earlier rehab stint.
In six starts with the Rainiers, Walker went 2-1 with a 4.11 ER, pitching 30.2 innings. Walker threw a 4-hit shutout in his final start with Tacoma last week. In three starts late last season, Walker went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA.
In other Mariners news, hot-hitting third baseman Kyle Seager was named American League Player of the Week after hitting .583 last week. Seager had 3 double, 2 home run, 8 RBI and a 1.542 on-base-plus-slugging percentage over six games last week. Seager also earned POW honors in June, as did Felix Hernandez. It’s the first time the Mariners have had three such honors since 2006.