ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs starter Taijuan Walker throws off mound for 1st time since surgery

Mar 20, 2019, 8:41 AM | Updated: 9:31 am
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws during the first inning of a baseball g...
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker reached a milestone in his elbow injury recovery Tuesday by throwing off the mound for the first time, manager Torey Lovullo told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

The right-hander tossed 20 pitches in the bullpen after requiring Tommy John surgery. He underwent that procedure to fix a partial tear to his UCL in mid-April.

“Really happy for him. Obviously it’s been a real long, grinding process,” Lovullo told reporters Tuesday. “I think it was a good day for Taijuan.”

Walker is hitting all his marks in the recovery schedule that the D-backs projected for him, the manager added.

The 26-year-old appeared in three games last year before injuring his throwing elbow. He allowed five earned runs in 13.0 innings before the injury ended his season.

In 2017, Walker’s first year with the Diamondbacks after being acquired in a trade from the Seattle Mariners, the pitcher made 28 starts, finishing the season with a 3.49 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.

Walker could be tabbed to return in 2019 sometime midseason if he continues to progress and was most recently placed on the 60-day injured list on Feb. 13. In the meantime, the Diamondbacks have filled the backend of their starting rotation with Luke Weaver via the Paul Goldschimdt trade and Merrill Kelly, who was signed as a free agent after playing the last four seasons in South Korea.

They join staples Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray and Zack Godley in the rotation.

Arizona Diamondbacks

A general view of Chase Field during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondback...
Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks sign highly ranked international shortstop prospect

The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to sign one of the top international shortstop prospects, Abdidas De La Cruz, for $1.2 million. 
7 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte (4) throws to home plate in the bottom of the fifth...
Arizona Sports

D-backs scheduled to face Rockies in Las Vegas spring series

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies have scheduled a spring training series on March 18-19 in Las Vegas.
8 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Kliff Kingsbury wait along the sidelines du...
Kevin Zimmerman

New Year’s resolutions for the Arizona sports teams in 2022

Here are what the local teams that air on 98.7 FM can look forward to achieving in the new year. Let's lend them some resolutions.
24 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers  durin...
Arizona Sports

The best Arizona sports plays of 2021

Being in high-leverage games tends to produce big moments, and multiple local teams competed for a championship this year.
22 days ago
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

The most-read ArizonaSports.com stories of 2021

It's been a newsy year in the sports world. For ArizonaSports.com, we looked at the two most-read articles for every month of 2021.
23 days ago
Suns’ Devin Booker doesn’t play 4th quarter of NBA Finals’ Game 3 loss (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)...
Kellan Olson

The best Arizona sports performances of 2021

The Arizona sports scene provided some great individual performances in the year 2021. Here are some of the best.
25 days ago
D-backs starter Taijuan Walker throws off mound for 1st time since surgery