Mets RHP Taijuan Walker explains what drew him to New York: 'They're ready to win now'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Danny Abriano
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Taijuan Walker during Zoom wearing street clothes
Taijuan Walker during Zoom wearing street clothes

Taijuan Walker spoke on Tuesday for the first time as a Met, touching on what drew him to New York and whether there will be any innings limits for him in 2021.

As far as why Walker was interested in joining the Mets?

"I think all the moves they made," he said. "Getting (Francisco) Lindor -- top-five player in the game easily. (Carlos) Carrasco. Having (Marcus) Stroman here, (Jacob) deGrom. The rotation was really good. But the lineup, too. They have a really good young core.

"I think everyone is just excited to win, knowing that we have a good team here. Just the energy -- I've been here the last couple of days -- is great. So that's what really attracted me early on. Just the big moves and showing the fan base that they're ready to win now."

The expectation is that Walker will slot in after deGrom, Carrasco, and Stroman in the rotation, giving the Mets a formidable one-through-four.

But Walker, who had Tommy John surgery in 2018, has been limited to just 67.1 innings over the last three seasons due to the ensuing recovery. He said Tuesday that he isn't sure yet whether there will be any limitations this season when it comes to his usage.

"We'll sit down with Luis (Rojas) and (Jeremy Hefner) and kind of just go over a game plan of where we want to be this year," Walker explained. "I throw my first bullpen tomorrow in camp, and we'll kind of just go from there and just kind of take it bullpen-by-bullpen, game-by-game.

"My goal is just to go out there every fifth day and pitch, and see where we end up at the end of the year."

Walker, 28, had a 2.70 ERA and 1.16 WHIP while striking out 50 batters in 53.1 innings (11 starts) last season for the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.

For his career, Walker has posted a 3.84 ERA and 1.24 WHIP while striking out 528 batters in 581.2 innings pitched with the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Arizona Diamondbacks.