It will be right-hander Blake Beavan on Tuesday for the Mariners in Texas as the replacement for injured James Paxton.
Manager Lloyd McClendon identified as Beavan as the club’s choice over rehabbing rookie Taijuan Walker prior to Saturday’s game against Oakland at Safeco Field.
“Beavan is throwing well (at Triple-A Tacoma),” McClendon said. “His last start was pretty darn good. We just thought he was physically ready to make the start.”
The flip side is a belief that Walker, the organization’s top prospect, requires additional time on his minor-league rehab assignment in his recovery from a sore shoulder.
“He needs to continue to get stronger,” McClendon said. “He needs to continue to command all of his pitches. He’s progressing well. We’re very pleased with where he is at this point.
“We just need to get that pitch count up, that pitchability up a little more.”
Actually, Walker is getting a promotion, too. He’ll shift from Double-A Jackson to fill the vacancy at Tacoma created by Beavan’s recall.
Beavan, 25, was a candidate for the rotation in spring training before some poor late outing prompted a decision to send him to Tacoma. He allowed three runs and nine hits over 13 innings in two starts for the Rainiers.
Plans call for Beavan to join the club Monday at Texas and be officially recalled prior to Tuesday’s game. The Mariners must make a corresponding space-clearing move at that point.
McClendon declined to confirm that move is likely to involve a reliever but did acknowledge the club is unlikely to continue carrying eight relievers for any length of time.
The need for a move surfaced Tuesday when Paxton suffered a strained back muscle that forced his departure in the sixth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Angels.
Beavan split each of the previous three years between the Mariners and Tacoma. He made 53 big-league appearances, including 43 starts, from 2011-13 while going 16-19 with a 4.61 ERA.
Walker, 21, entered spring camp as a favorite for the rotation but shoulder soreness, diagnosed as bursitis, forced a one-week shutdown from all throwing in early March and put him on a rehab schedule.