Mariners demote Taijuan Walker to Triple-A

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Seattle has optioned right-hander Taijuan Walker back to Triple-A, but it looks like the move might be more about keeping the 21-year-old rookie on his normal schedule rather than any sort of performance-based demotion.

Walker has had one good start and one bad start since joining the rotation after missing the beginning of the season with shoulder problems, and he’s got a 3.60 ERA in five career starts as a big leaguer dating back to his debut last season.

He can either make one start at Triple-A or just hang out in Tacoma over the All-Star break, and then return to the majors for the beginning of the second half.

To take Walker’s roster spot the Mariners called up reliever Stephen Pryor from Triple-A, where the 24-year-old right-hander had a 4.91 ERA and 24/16 K/BB ratio in 26 innings.  He’s also had some shoulder problems, so expect Pryor to be used in a low-leverage role initially.