Phillies Now Expect Walker to Make Scheduled Start After Injury Scare

It seems like nothing will change for the Philadelphia Phillies' rotation after it looks like their starter will be back for his scheduled outing.
Mar 9, 2024; Clearwater, Florida, USA;  Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99)
Mar 9, 2024; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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There was some concern that the Philadelphia Phillies might lose Taijuan Walker for an extended period of time after he took an almost 100 mph line drive off his foot that caused him to leave his last start early.

The right-hander battled an injury early that sidelined him in Spring Training and put him on the injured list to start the year.

Walker was starting to get back into a rhythm as he built up his arm facing Major League hitters before this scare could have caused him to miss more time.

Instead, the Phillies got good news when X-rays came back negative.

The only question remaining was if he would be available for his next start, or if Philadelphia would have to shift some things around in case he wasn't ready.

Well, now it's looking like Walker will be back on the mound for his next scheduled start on Wednesday, May 22 against the defending champion Texas Rangers according to their team page.

The 31-year-old threw around 40 pitches in a bullpen session on Sunday ahead of the team's finale against the Washington Nationals. He said he feels "80-90%" and that the session went "great."

"From when it happened a couple days ago to where I'm at now, it's a big change," he added.

That's a great sign for the Phillies as they want to have continued continuity in their rotation after moving Spencer Turnbull into the bullpen following Walker's activation off the IL earlier this season.

One thing Philadelphia is hoping for is that he finds his form soon.

Despite having a 3-0 record, his ERA is up at 4.91, higher than it was last year when he posted a 4.38 over 31 starts and 172 2/3 innings. The Phillies handed him a $72 million contract ahead of 2023 after he was one of the best starters in the New York Mets' rotation.

Manager Rob Thomson was encouraged by what he saw out of Walker during his last outing before he had to leave the game, so hopefully he's able to carry that momentum over into his start against the Rangers if he is able to take the mound.


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Brad Wakai

BRAD WAKAI

Brad Wakai graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism. While an undergrad, he did work at the student radio station covering different Penn State athletic programs like football, basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. Brad currently is the Lead Contributor for Nittany Lions Wire of Gannett Media where he continues to cover Penn State athletics. He is also a contributor at FanSided, writing about the Philadelphia 76ers for The Sixers Sense. Brad is the host of the sports podcast I Said What I Said, discussing topics across the NFL, College Football, the NBA and other sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @bwakai