Mariners set to start Taijuan Walker Monday

Taijuan Walker, throwing in last season's Futures Game.
Taijuan Walker, throwing in last season's Futures Game. (USATSI)

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The Mariners are finally going to add highly-touted pitching prospect Taijuan Walker to the big-league rotation Monday, manager Lloyd McClendon told reporters after Saturday night's game (seattlepi.com).

After getting three starts under his belt last season, Walker was set to begin this season in the rotation, but a shoulder injury in the spring derailed him. He had a few setbacks along the way and even was optioned back to Triple-A after completing his rehab assignment, but now Walker appears ready for his extended look.

After a 4.35 ERA through seven minor-league starts this year, Walker threw a shutout Tuesday, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out eight.

In three starts from Aug. 30-Sept. 9 last season, Walker was 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 15 innings. His upside is that of an ace, but he won't be counted on to be nearly that much with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma at the top of the M's rotation this season.

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