D-backs’ Taijuan Walker has a UCL injury, will get second opinion
An MRI on Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker’s right elbow Monday determined that he has injured his UCL, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told reporters on Tuesday.
Walker will get a second opinion in New York on Wednesday and was already on the way there at the time Lovullo spoke. Lovullo said they do not know if the injury is a tear and that he was just told it was a “UCL injury.”
Lovullo said the team has yet to determine who will start in place of Walker this coming Friday against the San Diego Padres.
Walker pitched two innings on Saturday in a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers before he left with forearm tightness in his throwing arm.
The right-hander remained on the mound after a visit with the trainer, but the D-backs decided to pull Walker after his velocity dropped in the end of his second frame.
“The one thing that I heard that made me think that the conclusion would be OK, that he would finish the outing and go on doing what he’s doing, was he’s felt something like this before,” Lovullo told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station before the results of the MRI were revealed Tuesday.
“Once we got him into the dugout, we all started to feel a little bit more concerned. We saw it a little bit different and we thought, once again, we’re going to put Taijuan in the best situation to be safe.”
Lovullo added that the drop in velocity wasn’t initially concerning to him because Walker remained accurate.
The manager said the decision to pull the starter and place him on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday was precautionary.
“What I was told is that the velocity isn’t the main feature when somebody gets hurt and there’s a lot of damage done to the elbow — it’s the aim and the touch and the feel is to what mostly goes in the wrong direction,” Lovullo said.
Arizona initially recalled reliever Silvino Bracho in wake of Walker’s injury, and Bracho pitched a career-high 3.0 innings Sunday in a loss to the Dodgers.