From Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune:
Right-hander Taijuan Walker will return Wednesday from a two-start remedial tour at Triple-A Tacoma to start for the Mariners in their series finale against the New York Mets at Safeco Field.
Walker has given up seven hits, seven walks, and four earned runs in 10 innings (two starts) this year with Seattle, but he was ranked sixth on MLB.com’s listing of the Top 100 prospects in baseball over the winter. The 21-year-old right-hander is capable of providing a meaningful boost down the stretch for the Mariners, who currently have a 2 1/2 game lead on the second American League Wild Card spot.
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.