The Seattle Mariners have gotten off to a solid 7-6 start to the 2014 MLB season, but the front office will likely have one eye on the future as the campaign plays out because there aren’t necessarily immediate World Series aspirations in place.
That future received a dose of unfortunate news Wednesday when the Mariners’ top prospect was shut down. CBS Sports let fans know it was a shoulder concern for pitcher Taijuan Walker:
Walker was scratched Tuesday before his Triple-A start with stiffness in his arm and will not participate in any throwing for two weeks with this latest update. General manager Jack Zduriencik outlined the team’s approach in comments that come via Bob Dutton of The News Tribune:
“What we’re going to do is back him off for about two weeks and take care of the area. Then, he’ll begin throwing, and we’ll have to build him back up.”
There are immediate red flags any time shoulder issues come into play with a young pitcher, so it’s probably best to exercise caution for the time being.
After the Mariners fortified the offense this offseason by adding players like Robinson Cano and Corey Hart, there was optimism surrounding their status in the American League West. Seattle already boasts superstar Felix Hernandez on the mound, though Hisashi Iwakuma has been on the DL.
Walker is a bright part of the future and is someone the team certainly hopes to feature alongside its other core players. His situation is no doubt one to monitor and something the organization will need to handle very carefully.