According to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, new Diamondbacks pitcher Taijuan Walker said he was dealing with 10 bone spurs in his right foot, which impacted his ability to push off and use his lower body. The biggest bone spur was three-fourths of an inch in size, Gilbert adds.
Moving from the more pitcher-friendly Safeco Field in Seattle to the more hitter-friendly Chase Field in Arizona, Walker said he plans to add a two-seam fastball in an attempt to keep the ball on the ground. The 24-year-old last season allowed 27 home runs in 134 1/3 innings. As a percentage of fly balls, his 17.6 percent home run rate was eighth-highest among pitchers who logged at least 130 innings. Despite the home run issues, Walker did manage to keep his ERA at 4.22 while averaging better than three strikeouts for every one walk. If he’s able to tamp down the homers, it will be interesting to see if he can live up to his potential with the Diamondbacks.
Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres will be promoted to the majors this weekend, per a report from Jack Curry of the YES Network. Torres was expected to make his debut earlier in the season, but his starting date was pushed back after he suffered a bout of back tightness last Monday. Now, however, it looks like he’s finally healthy enough to make an impact on a team that’s in sore need of an offensive boost. As of Saturday evening, the team has yet to officially confirm the move.
The 21-year-old infielder has made quite the impression in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this spring, slashing .370/.415/.543 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBI in his first 53 plate appearances. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, he was ranked first overall in the Yankees’ system and fifth among the league’s best prospects (via MLB Pipeline). His numbers at the plate have been made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s only 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm; neither the injury nor the lengthy recovery process seems to have had any detrimental effect on his game play this year.
While Torres appears most comfortable as a shortstop, he’s not expected to supplant Didi Gregorius in a starting role. Instead, it’s more likely that he’ll sub in at second and third base among the likes of Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes.