Taijuan Walker set to return to Mets’ rotation: ‘I’ve been itching’

Taijuan Walker’s season was placed on maintain after simply two innings in his first begin.

However nearly three weeks later, after a stint on the injured checklist for shoulder bursitis, the Mets right-hander will get again on the mound Saturday in opposition to the Phillies hoping to suit proper right into a rotation that has been thriving with out him.

“I’ve been itching,” Walker mentioned earlier than the Mets’ 3-0 win over the Phillies on Friday at Citi Discipline. “I threw against our guys [in a simulated game on Monday] and the way my stuff’s coming out of my hand right now and the way my stuff is moving, it’s the best I’ve felt and I think the best my stuff has looked in a long time.”

Walker mentioned his “shoulder feels brand new,” after receiving an injection as a part of his remedy for the harm, and the appropriate knee that he had surgically repaired within the offseason additionally “feels really good.” He mentioned he needs to be constructed as much as pitch at the least 5 innings, after throwing 64 pitches in Monday’s simulated sport in St. Louis.

In his 2022 debut, additionally in opposition to the Phillies, Walker threw two excellent innings with 4 strikeouts earlier than he was faraway from the sport with shoulder irritation. Left-hander David Peterson changed him in that sport and in addition made two stable begins in his spot whereas Walker was on the IL, serving to the Mets rotation publish a 2.67 ERA by its first 20 video games of the season.

Taijuan Walker
USA TODAY Sports activities

Whereas Walker’s fellow starters’ success made him need to get again even faster, it additionally allowed him the time to verify he was totally wholesome earlier than he returned.

“I want to be out there pitching and competing, but we got such a good staff,” mentioned Walker, who made one rehab begin along with the simulated sport. “It sucks, I feel bad, Peterson was throwing the crap out of the ball and he had to be sent down. Everyone who steps in has been pitching well. So having that depth is nice. We didn’t have that last year, so a lot of guys had to pitch through some nagging stuff that they could have taken a break [from]. But when we’re all healthy and everyone’s going good, it’s gonna be good. It’ll be good in the long run too.”

Coming off the shoulder harm, Walker mentioned he tweaked his mechanics from what he confirmed in his season debut.

“I just went back to my old mechanics, simple,” he mentioned. “Trying to just simplify everything, less movements, and I think that’s been really good and helpful for me to repeat everything.”

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