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Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker shut down with shoulder inflammation

Taijuan Walker (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Taijuan Walker won his MLB debut on Aug. 30 of last season against the Astros. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Mariners starter Taijuan Walker, the sixth-ranked prospect in baseball by MLB.com, won't throw the next week after tests showed inflammation in the bursa in his right shoulder, according to Mariners.com reporter Greg Johns.

The 21-year-old went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts last year as a late-season call up. The Shreveport, La., native also had a 2.93 ERA in 25 starts between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma.

He is expected to challenge for a spot in the Mariners' rotation this season.

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“It’s a little bit of a setback, yeah,” said manager Lloyd McClendon, who added that he isn't sure if Walker will be ready for the start of the season. “But it is what it is and we just have to continue to move forward. The MRIs were clean and good. There’s no structural damage. Everything is fine from that standpoint.”

Walker has been held back since the start of spring camp after arriving with soreness in his shoulder, according to Johns.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder was the 43rd pick in the 2010 MLB draft.

“This guy, we’re not just talking about 2014,” McClendon said. “Hopefully we’re talking about the next 15 years. We have to be cautious and we have to be smart. It’s frustrating for him, but I think it’s the best avenue to take. Err on the side of being cautious and continue to move forward with it.”

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