By Shannon Drayer
ARLINGTON, Texas – This is not the word we wanted to hear from Tacoma: Taijuan Walker was scratched from his start after not being able to get loose in his warm-up. He complained of stiffness in his right shoulder and will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
The Mariners shut Walker down for a week after an episode of shoulder soreness during spring training. An MRI revealed inflammation in the bursa but no structural damage. Until today he had reported no soreness or setbacks since resuming throwing, and he had shown his regular velocity in rehab starts.
While the immediate reaction will be to say that this is exactly what happened with Danny Hultzen last year, I would refrain from making any such assessments until we hear what the actual diagnosis is. There is no telling exactly what this is at this point.
Before today's game in Texas, Lloyd McClendon would not fully commit to Blake Beavan getting another start, but he did say that if all went well he most likely would get one more. I think this had more to do with wanting to keep Walker out of a National League park where he would have to hit than perhaps knowing that there could be a problem with Walker.
So Beavan is on the hill tonight where hopefully we will see something that looks a little more like the Beavan we saw two years ago and less like the Beavan we saw last year, who somehow managed to incorporate a Texas two-step into his delivery. He has focused on getting back to his original delivery and adding a cutter and gave up just three runs in his two starts with Tacoma.
• Hisashi Iwakuma threw a 52-pitch bullpen today and mixed in his splitter. Pitching coach Rick Waits was pleased with what he saw.
"He's ready for a game," he said, meaning a sim game.
That sim game will take place Friday in Miami. He is scheduled to throw a full warm-up and then 50-55 pitches to hitters.