Taijuan plays catch, plus today’s lineup

Taijuan Walker just played catch for a few minutes this morning, the first time he’s thrown since being shut down seven days earlier with inflammation in his right shoulder. It was a very short session, just warm-up tosses from about 45 feet, while all the pitchers began their warm-ups before the morning workout.

Then Walker chatted with pitching coach Rick Waits and assistant trainer Matt Toth and called it good. The fact head trainer Rick Griffin wasn’t there seems a pretty good indication the Mariners didn’t think this was too critical a step.

I’m sure there’ll be many more eyes on Walker when he starts throwing long toss and then when he gets on the mound for bullpen sessions and eventually graduates to throwing to live hitters again. That process will take several weeks, before the 21-year-old can even think about pitching in games.

Once he is cleared for game action, the Mariners will want to build his innings up to where he can throw six or seven frames before he pitches in a regular-season outing. All of which is why you shouldn’t anticipate Walker being ready for the start of the season, instead shooting for sometime in mid-April at the very earliest.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty routine morning at camp as the Mariners prepare for a 12:05 p.m. PT game against the White Sox in Glendale. Fernando Rodney will make his Cactus League debut in relief of starter Scott Baker, so that will be worth watching as well.

The only live radio broadcast on this one will be on Mariners.com through the audio link on Gameday and there is no television or delayed radio broadcasts tonight.

Here’s the lineup, which will be facing White Sox starter John Danks:

Endy Chavez CF
Stefen Romero LF
Kyle Seager 3B
Corey Hart DH
Jesus Montero 1B
Brad Miller SS
Xavier Avery RF
John Buck C
Willie Bloomquist 2B

Scott Baker RHP

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