Mets’ Taijuan Walker on track for the regular season

PORT ST. LUCIE — Taijuan Walker put up two innings on Saturday and suspects he will have no trouble extending to five in his first start of the regular season.

“I don’t think I’ll be at 100 pitches,” the Mets right-hander said. “But I think I’ll be out for at least five innings.”

After an operation in January to remove damaged cartilage on his right knee, Walker was slowly on the track this spring. In the Mets’ 4-2 exhibition win at Clover Park, Walker was limited to two innings (20 pitches) scoreless against the Nationals. Walker allowed one – on a ball Luis Guillormé lost in the sun. After being removed from the game, Walker said he threw another 20 pitches into the bullpen.

Walker was an All-Star last season, but he crashed in the second half and ended up with a 4.47 ERA. He says his knee problems started during off-season training. Among the positive signs of the day was Walker bouncing off the mound during a field game.

“I just saw the ball and just ran after it like I normally would and made a play,” Walker said. “It wasn’t easy, so we were able to tick that box.”

Taijuan Walker
Taijuan Walker

“The knee was great,” Walker said. “I didn’t think of that at all. bullpen, [fielding practice] With the team now, the knee has been absolutely amazing.”

Manager Buck Showalter said he was “hopeful” Walker would be ready for his first regular season start, especially given that teams are allowed to promote 28 players in the first month of the season.

David Peterson batted five over 3 ²/₃ innings but also allowed two earned runs with two hits and a walk. Lane Thomas stroked a two-run homer against Peterson in the fourth.

Left-hander Peterson is expected to start the season at Triple-A Syracuse as a rotation depth barring an injury in rotation. Tylor Megill is another depth option for rotation. Peterson has an 8.10 ERA in his two appearances this spring.

Showalter held a 20-minute meeting on the field before the game to implement the team’s signals. After the game, Showalter had scheduled a meeting to discuss the potential roster for opening day. Mets’ Taijuan Walker on track for the regular season


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