Minors (A+/AA/AAA): 5-1. 50.0 IP, 3.24 ERA, .212 BAA, 16 BB, 48 K (10 GS)
MLB (3 GS): 1-2, 15.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, .176 BAA, 13 BB, 14 K
A shoulder injury that surfaced during spring training prevented Walker from making his season debut with the Mariners until June 23. However, now fully healthy, the 21-year-old right-hander simply is focused on harnessing his stuff and working deep into games.
Even though Walker has bounced between Triple-A Tacoma and the major leagues this month as a result of the Mariners needing to adjust their starting rotation, he’s looked good over his last two starts, allowing three runs on four hits in nine innings. Walker also struck out eight during that span, which would be more impressive if he hadn’t also issued 11 walks.
Walker was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma after walking six batters over five innings in his latest outing (July 23). Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon spoke about the decision after Walker’s start (via MLB.com):
Pitching at this level is hard enough, but when you're starting to think about mechanical things, it's not just a good combination. He's got to get to the point where everything's happening naturally for him. He's a very talented individual, and he's going to be alright, and he's going to be alright in the very near future.
Walker represents a big piece of Seattle's future, as he's long been viewed as a potential No. 2 or No. 3 starter behind Felix Hernandez. However, given the organization's success this season as well as its chances of reaching the postseason, there's a realistic chance Walker is offered as part of a major deal prior to the trade deadline.
Last Week’s Stats
0-1, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 5 K (1 start)