Mariners rookie starter Taijuan Walker will make his final start of the 2013 season against the Astros on Monday, reports MLB.com’s Greg Johns. Brandon Maurer will take his spot in the rotation.
Walker spent most of his season between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma, posting an aggregate 2.93 ERA in 141.1 innings. He made his Major League debut on August 30 against the Astros, shutting them out on two hits and a walk in five innings. His second start didn’t go as well, as he allowed four runs to the Royals in five frames.
MLB.com ranked Walker, drafted by the Mariners 43rd overall in the 2010 draft, as the #5 overall prospect entering the season. He is expected to be a mainstay in the Seattle rotation starting next season.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.