Tonight’s Interview: Taijuan Walker

The LumberKings counted on 18-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker, making just his third professional start, to take on the role as stopper Sunday afternoon against Wisconsin.  A stopper he was, twirling a no-hitter through the first five frames and finishing with a career-high 11 strikeouts over 6.1 innings of one-run, two-hit baseball.   Of course, nine runs of support didn’t hurt Walker either as the LumberKings destroyed the Rattlers, 11-1.

Listen to Walker’s 10th K here:   Walker 10th Strikeout 5.15.11

The Mariners’ first-round pick in 2010 (43rd overall) showed flashes of promise in his first two outings thanks to a mid-90’s fastball, but it wasn’t until Sunday that we saw the curveball really start to work for Walker.  Should that 12-6 hook continue to improve, Walker will have more than a few more days like Sunday during this 2011 season.  Still, as you can tell in my pregame interview with Walker today, he’s modest about the outing and his first full season of professional baseball.

Walker discusses the outing, getting the unexpected call to Clinton from extended Spring Training, turning into a starter in his final season at Yucaipa High School, cutting ties with basketball after a promising career on the hard-wood and more.

Listen Here:  Walker Interview 5.17.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.17.11 kingsnotes

The notes attached do not reflect the roster move made today by the LumberKings, but right-hander Brandon Maurer has been promoted to high-A High Desert.  The Kings have received right-hander Keli’i Zablan from extended Spring Training.  Left-hander Edlando Seco is expected to start in place of Maurer tomorrow night against the Burlington Bees.

No starting lineups for you tonight, not because there aren’t any, but because I didn’t post any on Sunday and we won, 11-1.  How’s that for superstition?

Right-hander George Mieses and company take on the Bees at Community Field tonight, first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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