Philadelphia Phillies Starting Pitcher Taijuan Walker Leaves Game with Forearm Tightness
ParallelDesk 01:28:40 PM, 27 April 2023
"Dominic Leone comes on in relief of Taijuan Walker." by rchdj10 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/.
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Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Taijuan Walker left Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners due to right forearm tightness, worrying fans of the team who are already struggling with pitching injuries this season. Walker had given up two home runs, including a grand slam, before eventually leaving the game after 68 pitches over four innings. The Phillies had a 2-0 lead on the Mariners after the first inning before Walker gave up all five runs in the second inning. Right forearm tightness isn't necessarily a sign of elbow ligament damage, but it is a symptom that appears in a number of pitchers who eventually end up needing Tommy John surgery. Losing Walker would be a major blow for the Philadelphia Phillies, who are already without two members of their projected season-opening rotation: Ranger Suarez and Andrew Painter. Many Philadelphia fans were suspicious of the coincidence that Walker went out injured after giving up a five-run second inning. However, the hurler remained in the game for two more innings before departing. If Walker's injury is serious, it puts the Philadelphia Phillies in a difficult position since Suarez is only set to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Reading on Thursday, and slowly build back up towards rejoining the Phillies' rotation in mid-May if all goes well. Painter only began a throwing program three weeks ago and is not expected to rejoin the rotation until after the All-Star break. Walker, who has pitched for five different teams in a 10-year MLB career, signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Phillies this winter. He went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA with the New York Mets last season in the finest campaign of his career. Philadelphians are starting to feel like it might have been a bad investment. The Phillies, who won the National League pennant in 2022, are struggling mightily through the opening month of the 2023 season. Philadelphia entered Wednesday at 11-13 on the season, five games out of first place and just two games out of last in the American League East. Losing Walker for an extended period of time would only make things worse for the team.
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