The starting rotation for the Seattle Mariners is struggling as spring training opens in Peoria, Ariz. With right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma already on the shelf for at least a month with a finger injury, reporter Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune tweets that the shoulder of rookie right-hander Taijuan Walker is feeling sore.
Walker, one of the top prospects in all of Major League Baseball, will be "limited" in camp early on, manager Lloyd McClendon said. Dutton adds:
Will monitor Walker situation, but #Mariners don't seem overly concerned. Sounds like he might be a session or two behind in throwing work.
The Mariners came into camp missing left-hander Danny Hultzen, another top prospect, who had rotator cuff surgery and has been ruled out for all of 2014. Hultzen's shoulder problems — obviously, at least so far — are much more serious than those of Walker. But again, any time you hear "shoulder," the worst-case scenario can't help but creep into your thoughts.
The arrival of Robinson Cano never was meant to fix all of the Mariners problems. But they need a little bit of luck here with the injury bug. The good news: Ace Felix Hernandez is (knock on wood) just fine. The M's also have Erasmo Ramirez, Brandon Maurer, James Paxton and Scott Baker competing for spots in the rotation. They also could dip into the free-agent market for another pitcher, with the likes of Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez still available.
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