These times we live in, these are not happy times. The Mariners have gone 8-16 in their past 24 games. They have gone 473-569 this decade. They have gone 2,934-3,329 in their franchise history. So when I say "these times" I mean, you know, ALL THE TIME. So, when Taijuan Walker was sent for an MRI yesterday, I don't think any of us expected the results to come back with "Hey there's nothing in there except a new elbow ligament that is an exact copy of the one Felix is fraying and we can just take it out and put it in his elbow and then both he and Tai will be fixed forever!"
No definitive news on Walker. Servais said it is tendinitis, might need to be pushed back a couple of days, might need DL.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) June 21, 2016
Now, this isn't the worst news. Divish adds they found no structural damage to Walker's foot, and it's excellent that the team has been cautious with him. Being unable to properly drive off his foot could lead to a break down in mechanics, which could lead to increased arm stress, which could lead to, well, YOU KNOW.
Make no mistake though, with a rotation already decimated by injury, Walker looks very much like he's going on the DL. The team's talking points of "pushing him back" are the kind of overly hopeful and optimistic speak you get from people in sports, where positive thought is a foundational principle. I could be wrong, of course, and Walker could get healthy in time to avoid a DL stint, but I highly doubt it. This would mean 60% of the Mariners Opening Day rotation would be out at the same time. Fun.
Who would come up? Zach Lee or Donn Roach would be my guess. The team can't afford a Bullpen Day when Nate Karns and Adrian Sampson are longshots to go past five innings on any given start. It's just going to be hang on time, again, for a few weeks until people start to get healthy.
I don't know if the Mariners CAN hang on, and I don't know if it matters if they do at this point. There's still plenty of season to go, but with the team actually playing well enough to win most days, and still losing, you worry that worse play, and more losses, are ahead, and oh look the Rangers just won three games while I typed this sentence.