Walker left Friday’s game with neck spasms but is expected to square off against Tampa Bay and Chris Archer on Wednesday.
Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker should make his next start Wednesday, manager Scott Servais said.
Walker left his start last Friday after just two innings because of neck spasms, but was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday that would have him on track to make his next start. Walker joked with Servais on Sunday that he felt good enough to throw a couple of innings if the Mariners needed him that day.
“Everything I’ve been led to believe is he’ll be fine for his next start,” Servais said.
Walker is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against Rays ace Chris Archer.
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Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was named the American League player of the week. His numbers from May 2-8: .516 batting average, four home runs, three doubles, nine RBI and eight runs scored.
Cano played four games against the Houston Astros during that stretch and left an impression with Astros manager A.J. Hinch after just three games.
“We’ve thrown him hard, we’ve thrown him soft and he’s found ways to do damage,” Hinch told the Houston Chronicle. “We haven’t solved the challenge. We’ve got a game (Sunday), and then the rest of the league can have him for a month or however long it is until we play him.”
It has become a Twitter parlor trick of sorts to compare Cano’s start this season to his struggles early last year, but the discrepancy is pretty staggering:
• Cano leads the major leagues with 33 RBI this year. He didn’t drive in his 33rd run until July 18 last year.
• Cano leads the league with 12 home runs. He didn’t hit his 12th home run until Aug. 23 last year.
“It’s good to win player of the week,” Cano said, “but the best thing is being able to help the team win. That’s all that matters here.”
Cruz back in the lineup
Nelson Cruz missed Sunday’s game against Houston with discomfort in his right forearm — the first game Cruz missed all season.
But Cruz was back in the lineup against the Rays on Monday to begin a six-game homestand and Servais said he expected Cruz to be 100 percent.
Benoit injury update
Reliever Joaquin Benoit (right shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to throw off the mound before Monday’s game at which point Servais said the team would have a better idea of his health.
Benoit was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 22.
“He’s feeling really good, really upbeat,” Servais said.