The Mariners will shut down Taijuan Walker after Monday’s start

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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.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.