Mariners Preview: All Eyes On Taijuan Walker
(1090 The Fan / Sports Network) – The day is finally here: Top pitching prospect for the Mariners Taijuan Walker will make his much-anticipated Major League Baseball debut Friday against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Walker, who was the Seattle’s first pick in the 2010 draft, started the 2013 campaign with Double-A Jackson and went 4-7 with a 2.46 ERA before being promoted to Triple-A Tacoma, where he was 5-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 11 games.
So why would the Mariners make the move before September call-ups? Easy. He’s been on fire. Over his last two starts, he has a 0.82 ERA. He’s also struck out 160 batters in 114 1/3 innings.
“I just want him to go out there and do what he does, just be himself, enjoy the experience and have fun,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “Hopefully, he’ll be able to allow himself to relax and have fun with it. That’s the best way to have early success, just really enjoy the moment.”
Walker, who turned 21 on August 13, will become the fifth-youngest player in Mariners history to start a game.
Heading to the hill for Houston on Friday will be righty Brad Peacock, who has won his last two starts. Peacock beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, holding them to four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings to run his record to 3-4 to go along with a 5.67 ERA.
Peacock has faced the Mariners twice this season and is 1-1, with an oh-so-beautiful ERA of 9.64.
Seattle has won eight of 13 from the Astros this season and has won six of the last seven matchups.
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