Mariners call on top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker for Friday

Taijuan Walker, pitching in the Futures Game this past July.
Taijuan Walker, pitching in the Futures Game this past July. (USATSI)

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Highly-touted pitching prospect Taijuan Walker will make his major-league debut for the Mariners Friday against the Astros, the Mariners announced after Wednesday's loss to the Rangers.

Walker has long been one of baseball's most touted prospects. According to Baseball America, he was the 20th-best prospect in baseball prior to last season and ranked number 18 prior to this season. Over at MLB.com, Walker was ranked 18th before last year and fifth heading into this season.

Walker, 21, was a sandwich (between first and second rounds) pick in the 2010 draft by the Mariners out of Yucaipa (California) High School.

In 25 starts this season across both Double-A and Triple-A, Walker went 9-10 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 141 1/3 innings. He had a rough stretch in Triple-A from late July through mid-August, but he allowed only nine hits and one run in 11 innings over his last two starts. He struck out 15 in those two games, too.

Walker isn't taking anyone's rotation spot, as there was a gap due to Aaron Harang being designated for assignment earlier this week.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last five World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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