Mariners right-hander and top prospect Taijuan Walker was scratched from his scheduled Triple-A start on Tuesday because he had trouble getting loose before the game. Tests on Wednesday revealed a “right shoulder impingement," according to 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," said GM Jack Zduriencik. “I think you have to take a long-range view on this, the big-picture view and realize this is a little setback. No question about it. But in the long run, we've got to do what's best for Taijuan."
According to the internet, and impingement occurs when the rotator cuff is pinched between the humerus (arm bone) and scapula (shoulder blade). It can lead to structural damage if not treated properly. Obviously the team will be very careful with their prized right-hander.
Walker, 21, missed time in spring training with a shoulder problem and had to start the season on the DL. He was scheduled to throw 90 pitches on Tuesday, in what would have been his third minor league rehab start.
In three MLB starts last season, Walker went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 15 innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) in 9 1/3 total innings in his first two rehab starts.
The Mariners are also without righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who is working his back from a finger injury.