Mariners starter Taijuan Walker will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. The 21-year-old right-hander was shut down during spring training due to bursitis in his right shoulder. He appeared to be on his way back after making two rehab starts on April 4 and 9, but he felt impingement in his shoulder and was shut down again.
The Mariners drafted Walker in the first round, 43rd overall, of the 2010 draft. He made his major league debut last season, posting a 3.60 ERA with 12 strikeouts and four walks in 15 innings over three starts. Walker has made two minor league rehab starts this season: one with Single-A High Desert in which he allowed a run over 4 1/3 innings, and another with Double-A Jackson in which he struck out 10 batters over five shutout innings.
If things progress as planned, Walker could rejoin the Mariners in early June.
The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.
Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.
Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.
Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.
The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.
Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.