Within the next 24 hours, manager Lloyd McClendon said he hopes to announce who will start Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
With the strained latissmus dorsi diagnosis and subsequent disabled list stint for James Paxton, the Mariners are shuffling their starting rotation with the Tuesday spot yet to be determined.
Basically, McClendon hinted that it’s down to two possible candidates — Blake Beavan or Taijuan Walker.
Beavan had his start for Class AAA Tacoma moved up to Wednesday – presumably to be ready to pitch Tuesday if needed. He’s 2-0 in two starts with a 2.08 earned-run average for the Rainiers.
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Walker would be the fan favorite to get the chance. The hard-throwing, prized pitching prospect has been working his way back from shoulder bursitis that shut him down for seven days this spring.
He struck out 10 batters in his most recent start for Class AA Jackson.
“We want to be cautious with Taijuan,” McClendon said. “We have to makes sure he’s ready to compete at this level. The game is a little bit more stressful at this level than it is at the minor-league level — the number of pitches that you throw, the outs that you get are going to be harder. You have to take all of that into account when we decide if we are going to bring him in or somebody else.”
The lack of innings this spring is a major issue. Bringing Walker back to face a potent Rangers lineup with just two rehab starts might not be the best decision for all involved.
McClendon was asked about when Robinson Cano would hit his first home run. McClendon’s response was expected.
“I’m not the least bit concerned about Robby’s first home run,” he said. “Check the book, they will be there. When it’s all said and done, his numbers will be right they are supposed to be.”
• Paxton received a shot in his strained lat to help the healing. Paxton said it’s odd. He knows he is hurt, but nothing hurts on his body. He will receive treatment and then be re-evaluated in 7-8 days. A rehab plan would follow.
• Hisashi Iwakuma will throw a 50-pitch bullpen session Saturday. McClendon said Iwakuma is at least two more bullpen sessions away from facing live pitching.
Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org