Free agent pitcher Taijuan Walker was seen at Mariners camp today, and a few minutes later he posted a photo of himself in a Mariners uniform from back during his stint with the club from 2013-16, with the caption “Let’s gooo!!”. Based on that, it sure appears that Walker is signing with Seattle.
Walker, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018. He returned at the end of last season, making one one-inning appearance for the Diamondbacks. He last pitched a full season in 2017, when he posted a 3.49 ERA with 146 strikeouts and 61 walks over 157 1/3 innings. He recently had some private workouts for scouts and velocity was reported to be somewhat lacking, but that’s apparently not enough to scare away the M’s.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.