By Brady Henderson
ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” on Tuesday and discussed among other topics how the Mariners should approach the upcoming trade deadline. With Seattle currently holding the second wild-card spot, Law thinks the Mariners are “clear buyers” and that they shouldn’t consider anyone untouchable.
Not even top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker.
“I would trade Taijuan Walker without any hesitation,” he said.
Law’s reasoning is rooted in his concerns about Walker’s health and his delivery. The 21-year-old right-hander made his MLB debut last September and would have started this season in the Mariners’ rotation had it not been for a shoulder injury he sustained in spring training that sidelined him for most of the first half. After a few setbacks, Walker made his season debut Monday night, pitching six innings and allowing three earned runs in a win over Houston.
Law didn’t like what he saw.
“That’s not what Walker used to be before the delivery change last year, before all the injury troubles,” he said.
Law said the most notable differences in Walker’s delivery are a shortened stride, a more upright finish and an earlier release. He added that Walker’s curveball isn’t what it was when he made three starts during a September call-up last season.
“I was disappointed last night,” Law said. “I was hoping we were going to to see a looser, more flexible delivery and I was hoping we were going to see a better curveball than that. But if anything the curveball was worse last night than it was in his big-league debut last September.”