D-backs’ strategy with Taijuan Walker return based on lessons from past

Apr 14, 2019, 1:22 PM | Updated: 1:54 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws to the plate during the first inning of...
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Taijuan Walker throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
(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.

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Sean Poppen #64 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts to a two run homerun from Chris Taylor #3 of the...
Tom Kuebel

D-backs recall RHP Sean Poppen, option RHP Luis Frias

The Diamondbacks recalled pitcher Sean Poppen and optioned pitcher Luis Frias ahead of the final game of a two-game set against the Astros.
16 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@Astros)...
Associated Press

Brent Strom receives AL Championship ring prior to D-backs’ loss to Astros

D-backs pitching coach Brent Strom, who spent 2014-21 in the same position with the Astros, received his 2021 ALCS ring prior to first pitch.
2 days ago
Alek Thomas #5 of the Arizona Diamondbacks runs off the field during a rain delay in the seventh in...
Jake Anderson

Torey Lovullo: D-backs OF Alek Thomas started to show ‘loss in confidence’

Since the start of September, D-backs rookie OF Alek Thomas is 7-for-55 with two doubles for a slash line of .127/.138/.164 over 18 games.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Josh Rojas, left, greets Alek Thomas, right, after they scored against the Sa...
Jordan Leandre

Arizona Diamondbacks option OF Alek Thomas to Triple-A Reno

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Monday that the team is optioning outfielder Alek Thomas to Triple-A Reno.
3 days ago
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray walks off off the field during the seventh inning of t...
Haboob Blog

Ex-D-backs Robbie Ray, Luke Weaver ejected after marathon anthem standoff

Robbie Ray's Mariners were facing Luke Weaver's Royals, and the two former D-backs put on a show with a national anthem standoff. 
3 days ago
Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks at bat during the game against the Los Angeles Dodger...
Alex Weiner

Corbin Carroll, Brandon Pfaadt earn D-backs minor league awards

The D-backs named OF Corbin Carroll the organization’s 2022 Minor League Player of the Year and RHP Brandon Pfaadt the Pitcher of the Year.
4 days ago
D-backs’ strategy with Taijuan Walker return based on lessons from past