New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker is heading to the 10-day IL due to right-shoulder bursitis, the team announced Tuesday. He will miss multiple turns in the rotation given his lack of conditioning in spring training and will need at least one rehab start, per manager Buck Showalter.
It’s a change in tune from what Walker himself announced via his Twitter earlier on Tuesday afternoon that “everything is all good,” after undergoing tests on his shoulder earlier in the day.
Walker was cruising over the first two innings of his 2022 season debut on Monday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, striking out four while retiring all six batters he faced before leaving the game.
Initial concern suggested that it was the 29-year-old’s knee acting up after soreness in the area cut his final spring-training start short on April 5.
That knee soreness also guaranteed that Walker’s night in Philadelphia would be limited — but not nearly as short as two innings.
Concern escalated within the Mets’ ranks when — after he was replaced by reliever David Peterson — word came out that it was right-shoulder irritation that cut his night short.
Walker underwent an MRI Tuesday morning in Manhattan.
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The 2022 campaign is going to be a vital one for Walker to show that he can still be a reliable lower-end option in the Mets’ rotation.
After posting an All-Star-worthy first half of the 2021 campaign, he ran out of gas down the stretch while posting the most innings he had worked since the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
He went 7-11 with a 4.47 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 159.0 innings.
Walker’s departure wasn’t the only point of Mets’ concern on Monday night.
After asking him to work more than one inning for the first time in his career, reliever Trevor May departed in the eighth inning with an arm issue.
“Usually, I work through some tricep, bicep soreness. It’s a normal thing for me,” May said on Monday night. “I’ve been treating it pretty heavily the last week or so and pushing through and getting in shape. It’s my version of dead arm… It was feeling pretty good recently.
“When you sit and it’s cold outside, you have to find a way to fire it back up… I went back out there and it didn’t really loosen up. There was no pitch or sharp pain… It was all stuff I felt before. “
May eased some anxiety when he tweeted out a “thumbs up” emoji via his Twitter.