Just when fans of the Seattle Mariners could get excited about something during the 2013 season… it is coming to an end.
According to a published report from MLB.com’s Greg Johns, the Mariners have elected to shut down their prized pitching prospect, Taijuan Walker, following a final start on Monday. Fittingly, the final start will take place against the hapless Astros, but it will only be the 3rd Major League appearance for Walker.
The 21-year-old right-hander has been lights out this season, but most of his damage was done at the minor league level. He has thrown 141.1 innings in the minors this season (between AA and AAA), and has a nice ERA of 2.93 for his trouble. Walker’s performance hasn’t been quite as sparkling in 10 Major League innings (3.60 ERA), but he has debuted in a positive way.
It doesn’t come as a shock to see Walker shut down before the season ends, but the timing is probably a bit early that many expected. Seattle is primed to bring Walker up for a full-time rotation spot in 2014, and giving him a quick look at the Majors can do nothing but speed up his growth a bit. The fan base will have to wait for the full “entree” of Walker, but the appetizer was a good one.