Walker gives up two runs in ‘B’ game outing
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Top Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker gave up two runs in two innings of a 6-0 loss to the Indians in a seven-inning “B” game Thursday, though the 20-year-old right-hander didn’t get a lot of help from his defense.
Both Walker’s runs were earned, but the leadoff hit was a double that sailed over the head of left fielder Vinnie Catricala – who has played third base most of the spring – and the next batter drove a ground ball that just eluded second baseman Tim Lopes, an 18-year-old Minor Leaguer called up to fill out the squad.
The Indians proceed to get a clean single off Walker to drive in one run, then sandwiched a sacrifice fly around a pair of strikeouts to finish off his session.
Walker, combining a mid-90s fastball with a couple nasty curves, struck out two in his first inning of work and finished with four punchouts in his two innings while throwing 35 pitches.
James Paxton, another of Seattle’s touted young arms, continued a rough stretch this spring by giving up four runs and needing 47 pitches to get through the first two innings before being replaced by Walker. Paxton, who was knocked out of his last Cactus League start after just two-thirds of an inning by the A’s, didn’t get much help from his teammates either.
All four of Paxton’s runs were unearned after a pair of errors on shortstop Nick Franklin in the second inning. The left-hander gave up three hits and a walk that frame and finished the day with four runs and four hits with one walk and no strikeouts.