Notebook: M’s to take it slow with Walker’s return

May 29, 2014, 11:38 PM | Updated: May 30, 2014, 10:12 am

By Shannon Drayer

Taijuan Walker checked out of his first rehab start just fine and will throw a bullpen tomorrow. After that he should get at least one or two more rehab starts. Manager Lloyd McClendon made it clear that he will not be rushed. There is absolutely no pressure to get him up to the big leagues quickly.

“I don’t fight it because I’m always trying to look at the big picture,” he said. “And it’s my job to also look at his career, protect his career. So, no, I don’t fight it.”

McClendon pointed out that Walker basically missed spring training and that he will not only need to show that he is healthy, but he will also have to earn a spot.

They need him pitching well when they bring him up.

“If he was healthy in spring training, he’d have to make the club. Nothing was given,” he said. “And I think we’re under the assumption now that he was given a spot on this club and that’s just not the case. He’d still have to compete for a spot. Now, I want him to do good, believe me, I want him here, but he’s got to prove that he’s healthy, he’s got to get the rust off, he’s got to be ready to compete at this level on a consistent basis.”


Brandon Maurer’s struggles will not impact what they do with Walker. He will not be rushed. McClendon did not have answers as to what is next for Maurer after giving up five runs in four innings tonight. It obviously was not the performance he was looking for. Erasmo Ramirez could be a consideration should they choose to make a change. He is on turn with Maurer and pitched tonight, giving up two runs in six innings for the Rainiers. A good performance, but he has hardly been consistent since being sent down, as he’s 0-3 with a 4.55 ERA and .304 opposing batters average. He has had success at the big league level at times, however.

• Most of the media was caught in the horrific traffic today (self included) so the group on hand to talk to McClendon was rather light. A number of ballplayers including Felix Hernandez, Fernando Rodney and one member of the Angels also had trouble getting in. See folks, we are all in the same boat here!

• I talked to Felix about changing up his game plan yesterday and going more with the fastball than the changeup, particularly early.

“The last four games, every team with two strikes, they were trying to sit on my breaking ball instead of my change-up,” he said. “When I realized that I was reading some swings, they would sit on that pitch and I would go after them with my fastball. They are always looking for the change-up, they know I am going to throw it anyways but yesterday they were a little surprised with the fastball.”

Seattle Mariners

Mariners White Sox Abreu...
Joe Fann

Fann: Astros just sent reminder to Mariners they’re not going anywhere

The Mariners should feel a sense of urgency to make another upgrade after the Astros signed former AL MVP José Abreu on Monday, writes Joe Fann.
23 hours ago
Mariners offseason Joey Gallo...
Brandon Gustafson

4 names to watch to fill Mariners’ OF, left-handed bat needs

Among the Mariners' remaining needs this offseason is a corner outfielder and a left-handed bat. Brandon Gustafson breaks down players who check both boxes.
2 days ago
Mariners Gleyber Torres...
Brandon Gustafson

Mariners Hot Stove Hype: Yankees trade chip 2B Torres, FA OF Benintendi

What should Mariners fans know about reported trade target Gleyber Torres of the Yankees? The Ringer's John Jastremski told Wyman & Bob.
7 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brandon Gustafson

Morosi: Haniger’s future, how 2 big names leaving their teams benefits Mariners

MLB Network's Jon Morosi joined Wyman & Bob to discuss Mitch Haniger's future and why the door may be opening for the Mariners in the AL.
7 days ago
Mariners Trea Turner...
Brandon Gustafson

Morosi: Why Mariners will be patient with addressing middle infield

The Mariners need a middle IF, and Jon Morosi thinks they'll get a notable one. He just thinks they'll wait it out, and for good reason.
8 days ago
Mariners Brandon Nimmo...
Joe Fann

Fann: Surveying the Mariners top 3 options to complete their outfield

The Mariners' have two OF starters in Julio Rodríguez and Teoscar Hernández, and Joe Fann breaks down his top options for that third spot.
8 days ago
Notebook: M’s to take it slow with Walker’s return