Phillies Place Taijuan Walker on 15-Day Injured List

Phillies Taijaun Walker
Philadelphia Phillies’ Taijuan Walker pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Sunday, May 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Prior to Sunday morning’s 11:35 AM start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Philadelphia Phillies announced that right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker was placed on the Injured List with right index finger inflammation, retroactive to June 22. Fellow right-hander Michael Mercado has been called up in Walker’s stead.

Taijuan Walker

Walker only lasted four innings in his start Friday evening against the Diamondbacks, allowing four runs on five hits. Following the start, manager Rob Thomson mentioned a “little hot spot” on his index finger, causing him discomfort.

Looking up and down the Phillies’ starting rotation, Taijuan’s ERA certainly stands out among the rest as he stands at 5.60 over ten starts. In a season where the Phillies have been defined by the ability of their pitching staff to go deep into games, Walker has not reached the six-inning mark in a start since May 27th.

Meanwhile, the Phillies have a replacement in tow already in Spencer Turnbull. Turnbull, who started the season in the rotation as Walker recovered from his shoulder injury, came in to relieve Walker on Friday evening, throwing three shutout innings.

On the season, Turnbull owns a 2.63 ERA over 51.1 innings pitched. Turnbull’s early-season success as a starter made it difficult for the Phillies to remove him from the rotation as he pitched for a 1.67 ERA over six starts, racking up 36 strikeouts over 32.1 innings.

This should not be a long recovery for Walker, so expect Turnbull to only receive a start or two in the interim. Should Turnbull’s success as a starter continue in that time, a difficult decision will need to be made as to who remains the Phillies’ fifth start

Taking Walker’s spot on the roster will be Michael Mercado, a 25-year-old right-hander who has spent his 2024 season with Lehigh Valley (AAA). Mercado owns a 1.71 ERA over 14 games (10 starts), striking out 44 batters over 47.1 innings pitched. This will be Mercado’s first appearance on a Big League roster as he dons the number 63.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)