Taijuan Walker to Start Sunday’s Series Finale on Short Rest

Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies will start Taijuan Walker on short rest in their Sunday afternoon series finale against the Chicago Cubs.  

Walker last pitched on Wednesday in San Francisco and lasted just two-thirds of an inning.  He allowed four hits, four runs, and walked two in just 40-pitches.  In a way, Wednesday’s short outing was a glorified bullpen session.  

That’s exactly how the Phillies are treating it.  

In lieu of a bullpen game, Walker will start on Sunday and a bullpen game will likely follow on Tuesday’s game against Arizona.  

Obviously, neither situation is ideal for the ball club but this is what happens when the much ballyhooed starting rotation under performs.  Phils’ starters have a combined ERA of 5.06, or 24th best in baseball.  In turn, the Phillies have had to rely heavily on their bullpen.  The ‘pen currently has a 4.18 ERA (20th) and has allowed upwards of 50% of inherited runners to score.  

The current situation looks a lot different than the projected starting rotation of Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Andrew Painter, and Walker.  

The Phillies, who are mired in a five-game losing streak and sit four-games under .500, will have to weather the storm and hope the rotation comes to form or make a move.  A move, at this point at least, is not likely.  It’s too early to make a trade but the Phillies need to right the ship before this team is essentially buried before Memorial Day.