Tyler Walker pitched well for the Nationals through mid-June, posting a 3.57 ERA and 30/8 K/BB ratio in 35 innings, but missed the final three months of the season following shoulder surgery.
Based on his recovery timetable the veteran reliever could be ready to pitch again as soon as spring training, but at age 34 he’s reportedly pondering retirement and today the Nationals released Walker.
Walker didn’t make his big-league debut until age 26 and never really got settled in one place thanks to injuries and poor control.
He pitched for five teams in eight years, throwing more than 50 innings in back-to-back seasons just once, but does have a 4.23 ERA in 300 career innings and was briefly a closer for both the Giants and Rays.
If he doesn’t call it quits Walker will likely find a minor-league deal somewhere.
The Cardinals have placed right-hander Carlos Martinez on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain, per a team announcement on Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 20. No definite timetable has been set for his return to the rotation yet, but interim manager Mike Shildt told reporters he feels confident that Martinez will only need to skip one start before taking the mound again.
Martinez, 26, sustained the injury while trying to snare a line drive during Thursday’s 9-6 loss to the Cubs. It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the righty this season, as he lost nearly four weeks to a right lat strain and pitched to a 5.32 ERA after returning to the Cardinals’ roster in early June. Overall, however, his numbers look a little stronger: He’s 6-6 in 17 starts with a 3.39 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 through 95 2/3 innings.
In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever John Brebbia has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis. The 28-year-old Brebbia has already enjoyed three short-lived stints in the majors this season; he currently holds a cumulative 4.13 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 9.9 SO/9 and two saves in 32 2/3 innings with the club.