Choose best cheap Taijuan Walker Arizona Diamondbacks jersey online, womens youth youth Taijuan Walker gear sale, buy Taijuan Walker jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Gold/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.
Eric Hosmer could not stop his swing, and right-hander Taijuan Walker slapped his glove in celebration of the inning-ending strikeout. For the second time in as many weeks, a pitcher expected to be a key part of next year’s rotation had briefly demonstrated his health – and, in the process, provided a glimmer of hope for the Diamondbacks.
In his first and only big-league inning of the year, Walker gave up a hit, struck out a batter, hit 94 mph on the radar gun and threw a total of 15 pitches. His appearance in the Diamondbacks’ 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field did not last long, but it meant something to both him and the organization as they turn their attention toward next year.
The Diamondbacks ended their season with five consecutive victories, all of which came after they officially were eliminated from postseason contention. At 85-77, they finished 21 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers and four games out of a wild-card spot.
“Definitely I can go into the offseason knowing I’m 100 percent, completely healthy,” Walker said. “I can have a normal offseason and get ready for spring training.”
Right-hander Luke Weaver made similar remarks after tossing two innings in his return from the injured list the previous weekend in San Diego. The Diamondbacks will be counting on both he and Walker to play prominent roles in their starting rotation next year.
“It gives us a little bit more clarity, certainly,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We know they got on the mound, they jumped into that arena of competition. They probably mentally checked a big box off.”
Two years ago, Walker was a mainstay in one of the better rotations in Diamondbacks history, posting a 3.49 ERA with a 146 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings. Three starts into 2018, he went down with Tommy John surgery, and just as he was nearing a return this past May, he experienced shoulder problems that sidelined him until Sunday.
He threw mostly fastballs and change-ups against the Padres. He largely threw strikes. He elicited a couple of swings and misses. Walker was content with all that. But he seemed genuinely excited to be able to walk off a mound in a game that counted and feel healthy.
“I felt comfortable,” he said. “Just to go out there and get outs for the first time in forever, it felt nice.”
As it stands, the Diamondbacks have too many starters for too few rotation spots for 2020. Beyond Walker and Weaver, there are veterans Robbie Ray and Mike Leake and rookies Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Alex Young.
The team lacks the kind of clear-cut ace that right-hander Zack Greinke represented before he was traded in July. But the Diamondbacks believe they have pitchers capable of developing into that sort of pitcher.
“Every fifth day (with Greinke) you knew you were going to have a really, really good chance to go out and win a baseball game,” Lovullo said. “But I feel like we have other guys who are emerging.”
Walker and Ray each have had success in the majors. Weaver seemed to be developing into a frontline starter before going down with elbow problems in May. Gallen made 15 starts this year in his first exposure to the major leagues; he did not allow more than three runs in any of them.
“I feel like there’s some potential for guys to emerge into that role, but they’re going to have to earn it,” Lovullo said. “You don’t get anointed that position. You have to earn it.”
The Diamondbacks’ season served as an example of how pitching depth can vanish with a handful of injuries. That said, the club could view its rotation surplus as area from which to trade this offseason.