It was a tale of two halves for Taijuan Walker. In the first half, Walker was 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA in the first half. He was so good he was a National League All-Star. In the second half, Walker went 0-8 with a 7.13 ERA. Overall, Walker went 7-11 with a 4.47 ERA.
Walker signed a three-year $23 million-dollar deal with the third year being a player option worth $6 million dollars.
He was signed to be a back end of the rotation arm, and his full season numbers pretty much were that.
Walker’s season was frustrating just because of how good he was in the first half. Had Walker been half of what he was in the first half the Mets at least contend for a playoff spot for longer.
However, it is a lot to ask for asking Walker to keep up all-star production for 30 starts. Walker had not pitched 100+ innings since 2017. Going from that to being relied upon every fifth day for a quality start in a 162 game schedule is a lot to ask for.
The Mets got all of this rotation depth with Joey Lucchesi and Jordan Yamamoto among others to in part be a security blanket for Walker if the Mets ever wanted to skip one of his starts or push him back a day or two.
I expect more consistency in a 30 start sample next season if Walker can stay healthy, which has always been tough for the 29-year-old.
He doesn’t have to be an all-star, but just a consistent Taijuan Walker would be a huge addition to this Mets rotation in 2022.