D-backs’ strategy with Taijuan Walker return based on lessons from past
Apr 14, 2019, 1:22 PM | Updated: 1:54 pm
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker has begun throwing a baseball following Tommy John surgery in mid-April.
As things continue to progress for Walker according to plan, don’t expect the D-backs to rush him back to the field.
“We have a strategy for everything that we do,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Last year we had really good intentions to do the same thing with Shelby [Miller] and slow play him, but there came a need where we had to rush him.”
Miller appeared in five games for Arizona last season. He made four starts but only pitched 16 innings all year posting a 10.69 ERA and 2.00 WHIP.
“We learned a good lesson because (Miller) ended up taking a couple of steps backwards where he felt a little bit of arm fatigue and we don’t want that with Taijuan,” Lovullo said.
Walker threw 20 pitches off a mound on March 20 and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday.
“We want to make sure that if we have a strategy, we’re going to stay with it,” Lovullo said.
The D-backs pitching staff has been problematic this season as they rank No. 27 in the MLB in team ERA and they have given up the seventh-most walks this season.