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Philadelphia Phillies Starter Not Worried About His Eye-Opening Slower Velocity

After finally appearing in a Spring Training game, one Philadelphia Phillies pitcher isn't worried about the lower velocity on his fastball.

The Philadelphia Phillies got a scare early in Spring Training when Taijuan Walker was absent from camp for personal reasons and had developed some knee soreness that prevented him from pitching.

The 31-year-old is coming off a solid first year with the team.

He had his career-high in starts with 31 that resulted in 15 wins, and also pitched a career-high amount of innings with 172 2/3. However, his ERA was 4.38 and his ERA+ 98, suggesting he was just below-average.

Walker did not appear in a single playoff game last year, something that irked him a bit heading into the offseason.

The right-hander is expected to be a major part of the rotation this season and is looking to showcase why he should be involved in the playoffs if the Phillies make it back for the third straight year.

Getting him back on the field for an exhibition game was important as he begins ramping up for the start of the season.

Overall, it was a good outing for Walker.

In two innings pitched, he allowed one run on two hits, while striking out three batters and only walking one.

No cause for concern, right?

Well, that might have been the case if his fastball velocity wasn't noticeably slower than it's been in the past.

His speed was clocked at 89 mph, a far cry from his four and two-seamer touching 93 and 94 mph.

However, Walker isn't concerned.

"... only because of my build-up. It's expected. I really only got one live (batting practice) in, a couple of bullpen (sessions) ... I know I'm a little behind so just playing catch-up right now," he said according to Corey Seidman of NBC Philadelphia.

As the veteran continues to work in camp, he should return to form.

Philadelphia needs that to be the case as they have not pursued the top remaining starters on the market in Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell because they're so confident in their current rotation.