HomeOther Philly SportsRob Thomson expresses positivity during interview with Taijuan Walker – Phillies Nation

Rob Thomson expresses positivity during interview with Taijuan Walker – Phillies Nation

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Taijuan Walker has three years remaining on his deal with the Phillies. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

Despite frustration with his role — or lack thereof — during the Philadelphia Phillies postseason run, manager Rob Thomson says that the air has been cleared between him and RHP Taijuan Walker.

“We were texting back and fourth. Everything is good, everything is good,” Thomson said Tuesday at the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville.

“Taijuan is a great guy … I love his competitiveness … I love the way he works … he’s a great teammate … there’s no issues there.”

After signing a four-year/$72 million free-agent deal with the Phillies last offseason, Walker went 15-6 with a 4.38 ERA and 4.53 FIP across 172 2/3 innings pitched in 2023.

However, Walker struggled with his velocity early in outings, which contributed to his 7.04 ERA in the first inning of his 31 starts. The 31-year-old was on the roster for all three rounds of the postseason, but never appeared in a game.

Walker’s social media activity after the Phillies were eliminated — specifically in regards to criticisms of Thomson — wasn’t lost on, well, anyone.

However, Walker’s presence on X — the social media platform formerly known as Twitter — has consisted mostly of him sharing food and pet pictures over the last month plus.

The reality is that Walker is owed $54 million over the next three seasons, so he was never going anywhere. And there is value in a pitcher has five seasons of 150+ innings on his resume, specifically over the course of a 162-game regular season. But unless he corrects early-game velocity issues, Walker will likely be phased out in the postseason again next year, assuming the Phillies make it there.

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