Taijuan Walker Broken: Better Them Than Us


As I was removing my Mariners lanyard with the inscription “Property of Lance McCullers and Gerrit Cole,” I ran across the post on MLB Trade Rumors that former M’s first round pick Tai Walker partially tore his UCL and will be having Tommy John surgery.

Walker, you remember him, former first round draft choice with millions of tons of potential, but never quite fulfilled it as a Mariner. He certainly had moments of real goodness, but it never quite happened.  Jerry Dipoto’s best trade of 2017 was sending Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte to the Diamondbacks for Jean Segura and little known outfielder Mitch Haniger.  Yes, that Haniger who has held the M’s together while awaiting the return of Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino.

I never wish any player ill, and I still have hope that Walker, all of 25, will overcome his injury and be good.  He had a solid year for Arizona in 2017, making 28 starts for 157.1 innings, with 3.49 ERA, 4.04 FIP good enough for a 9-9 record.  He also struck out 146, walked 61 and allowed 17 homers.

There were times, when Segura and Haniger were injured, I lamented the trade of Walker.  With all the pitching injuries, he would have been second on the team in innings pitched right behind Ariel Miranda

But I’ve thought better of it.  Cheers to Tai Walker and the Diamondbacks.  I hope your recovery is swift and successful.  And no I’m not snickering.

Mike Zunino soon to return

In speaking of Mike Zunino, he should be returning to the Mariners when they head south to take on Bartolo Colon and the Rangers on Friday night. This morning’s News Tribune offers a great article about Zunino by T.J. Cotterill, and how he managed to get his hitting woes straightened out.  When he was sent down last year, again, he came with his usual bag of excuses explaining that he’d been successful elsewhere  and he just needed a few fixes.  He was told no, by Mariners Minor League Field Coordinator Mike Micucci and rebuilt his swing in several pieces.  But let Cotterill tell the story, it’s a good one. unfortunately it’s behind a paywall and I can’t link to it.

Gamel up, Miranda down, now what?

The M’s sent Ariel Miranda down after his Tuesday performance.  Ben Gamel was called up and played in Wednesday’s game. No need for a fifth starter until, gulp, Sunday.  The team has five outfielders, at least until Sunday when Erasmo Ramirez or Rob Whalen is needed to take the mound in Texas.  It will be interesting to see how long this shell game continues or Jerry Dipoto and company do the right thing.

Tyler O’Neill Called Up

The Cardinals called up former M’s prospect Tyler O’Neill yesterday.  Highly ranked prospect (for the M”s) O’Neill was traded for Marco Gonzales last year, much to the fear and loathing of many fans.  Hmm, Marco, you’ve been shelled your last two outings, maybe you can redeem yourself this afternoon and we can all feel better about this deal.

O’Neill was slashing .388/.385/.837 with six homers in AAA Memphis.  He has a history with a high strikeout rate, so let’s see if he can stick.

Marco, you better get us a win buddy.

Matinee baseball today.  Go M’s


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