Mariners rookie starter Taijuan Walker will make his final start of the 2013 season against the Astros on Monday, reports MLB.com’s Greg Johns. Brandon Maurer will take his spot in the rotation.
Walker spent most of his season between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma, posting an aggregate 2.93 ERA in 141.1 innings. He made his Major League debut on August 30 against the Astros, shutting them out on two hits and a walk in five innings. His second start didn’t go as well, as he allowed four runs to the Royals in five frames.
MLB.com ranked Walker, drafted by the Mariners 43rd overall in the 2010 draft, as the #5 overall prospect entering the season. He is expected to be a mainstay in the Seattle rotation starting next season.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.