Mets minute: Taijuan Walker to start Tuesday vs. Yankees, Jacob deGrom going Thursday or Friday

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Taijuan Walker Mets
Taijuan Walker (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

New York Mets manager Buck Showalter revealed that starting pitcher Taijuan Walker did well in his side session on Monday and that he’ll pitch for Tuesday’s Subway Series finale against the Yankees in the Bronx. 

Walker left his start during last week’s meeting with the Atlanta Braves after just two innings due to back spasms and was scratched from his originally-scheduled start on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jose Butto made his MLB debut in Walker’s place in what developed into a wild 10-9 Mets victory. 

Walker is putting together one of his finest seasons as a pro in 2022 with the Mets, posting a 10-3 record with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.202 WHIP. 

“A lot of factors went into it,” Showalter said on his decision to bring Walker back on Tuesday. “One with [Walker], we don’t want him to get too far away from pitching and lose your arm strength and some of the other things you might lose if you get too far away from it.”

With the decision, Jacob deGrom will be pushed back to either Thursday or Friday at Citi Field against the Colorado Rockies, adding that it will “probably” be Thursday.

Jacob deGrom Mets Braves
Jacob deGrom (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Last Thursday against the Braves down in Atlanta, deGrom threw a season-high 95 pitches in a 3-2 loss, which was just his fourth start of the season after returning from a stress reaction in his right scapula. His ensuing warmups — which didn’t cause any alarm for Showalter or the Mets — prompted the decision to move him back to reintroduce Walker back into the fold.

“The feedback we get from him, everybody from where he is,” Showalter explained as the reason for the decision. “Just keep in mind, the torque and the things he does to create what he creates, we’re trying to be careful. We have an opportunity to do that.”

It will momentarily split up one of the most feared 1-2 punches in the game as Max Scherzer took the ball on Monday night in the Bronx — a necessary course of action for a rotation that had been ransacked by injuries as of late. 

Along with Walker’s back issues, Carlos Carrasco is sidelined for at least three weeks with an oblique injury. 

“Until we get Carlos back and make sure that Tai is OK, it’s one of these things if you plan too much, there’s nothing given,” Showalter said. “If you go by track record, it probably makes sense to split those two guys up.”

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