Seattle has optioned right-hander Taijuan Walker back to Triple-A, but it looks like the move might be more about keeping the 21-year-old rookie on his normal schedule rather than any sort of performance-based demotion.
Walker has had one good start and one bad start since joining the rotation after missing the beginning of the season with shoulder problems, and he’s got a 3.60 ERA in five career starts as a big leaguer dating back to his debut last season.
He can either make one start at Triple-A or just hang out in Tacoma over the All-Star break, and then return to the majors for the beginning of the second half.
To take Walker’s roster spot the Mariners called up reliever Stephen Pryor from Triple-A, where the 24-year-old right-hander had a 4.91 ERA and 24/16 K/BB ratio in 26 innings. He’s also had some shoulder problems, so expect Pryor to be used in a low-leverage role initially.
The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.