MLB Winter Meetings: Phillies content without making a splash, Rob Thomson didn’t watch the World Series, and MLB Rule 5 Draft update
MLB Winter Meetings are underway in Nashville, Tennessee and I have a few updates for…
Taijuan Walker took to Twitter last night after the Phillies lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 7 of the NLCS to throw shade at his team after he didn’t pitch during the postseason.
Walker signed a 4-year, $72 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies before the start of the 2023 season. He was 15-6 on the year in 31 starts (172.2 IP) with 138 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP.
Before the All-Star break, he posted a 10-3 record with a 4.02 ERA and post All-Star break, he went 5-3 with a 4.83 ERA. In the first inning, Walker posted a miserable 7.04 ERA, allowing 17 walks in just 30.2 first innings pitched.
All of that is obviously important when trying to understand why his name wasn’t called in the postseason. Taijuan Walker was never an option out of the bullpen. Period.
Basically, Taijuan Walker was an innings eater for the Phillies during the regular season and excelled in that role, providing the top half of the Phillies rotation and guys in the bullpen much needed rest days.
The reality of the situation is that Walker consistently got off to slow starts in baseball games while posting his best numbers before the All-Star break. In no situation, should the Phillies have used him coming out of the bullpen in the postseason.
This is playoff baseball. A team really only needs a 3-man rotation, which obviously was filled by Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Ranger Suarez. When the Phillies decided to go with Cristopher Sanchez as their fourth starter, Rob Thomson told us that he was throwing better than Walker.
So I don’t know. Maybe Taijuan Walker should just shut up and focus on “#nextyear” because from where I’m sitting right now, the Phillies have Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Cristopher Sanchez, Mick Abel, and ideally, Aaron Nola coming back next year with Andrew Painter looking to make a full recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Where’s that leave Walker? Your guess is as good as mine. He should have just kept quiet and said something nice like Bryce Harper, who is currently shouldering all of the blame after a disappointing series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.