Mariners notebook: Taijuan Walker to start Wednesday
TBA on Wednesday is now Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is back with the club and will be on the mound for Wednesday’s series finale against the Mets. After a rocky start to his season as he came back from injury, Walker said that he finally feels right on the hill.
“I didn’t feel back to my normal self,” he said of his previous outings. “This week has been a lot better, I have felt more normal. This next start I think will be different. I think I will feel different. It’s been weird. It’s been a weird year for me. Being hurt, being out for a couple months, rehab starts, it’s all new for me.”
He feels confident that he is healthy. The shoulder is no longer an issue.
“It’s all behind me,” he said. Definitely I don’t want to make any excuses for being injured but I’m not hurt anymore and I need to find a way to get the job done, get better.”
Command has been the issue since coming back and Walker believes he found the problem by watching video from last year.
“I was swinging my foot, everything was opening up,” he said. “There was a huge difference. Last year I was closed off when I finished. This year I wasn’t doing that and I think that created why I have been having an inconsistent release point.”
Manager Lloyd McClendon has been very candid about not being happy with Walker’s recent performances. If he was trying to give him a push, it would appear the message has been received.
“That’s the kind of stuff you want to hear because it just motivates you,” he said. “It gets you mad for a second but it is motivation to you. It makes you go out there and want to do better. It makes you want to put in more work, work harder so you can prove everyone wrong. It’s all motivation and they are trying to get you pumped up and get you going again.”
Endy Chavez, 9
James Jones, 8
Robinson Cano, 4
Kyle Seager, 5
Corey Hart, DH
Logan Morrison, 3
Willie Bloomquist, 6
Dustin Ackley, 7
Mike Zunino, 2
• James Paxton threw 60 pitches in three innings for the Rainiers Tuesday in his second rehab start. He settled down after allowing two home runs in the first inning, retiring eight of the last nine batters he faced. His final line: three innings, three hits, three runs, one walk and four strikeouts. He threw 60 pitches, 34 for strikes and his fastball was 90-95 mph. He is expected to make at least one more rehab start before returning to Seattle.
• Michael Saunders continues to progress in his rehab from the grade-two oblique strain. He is scheduled to play light catch Wednesday for the first time.
• Alex Jackson, the Mariners’ first pick in the 2014 draft, suffered a small fracture of the maxillary antrum (sinus area) after getting hit in the face by a line drive in the outfield while playing an Arizona League game Monday. No timetable has been put on his return as he was scheduled to see a specialist Tuesday.