Most Valuable Starting Pitcher runner-up: Taijuan Walker
After a disastrous performance in 2016, the Diamondbacks rotation has been a pleasant surprise. As a group, the starters own a 3.64 ERA.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker has been a big part of the rotation’s resurgence. Walker has given up a hit per inning. He is one of only two starters to give up an equal or fewer number of hits compared to innings pitched.
Walker is leading the staff with 16 strikeouts and has walked the second fewest batters (6). Wins are not a popular stat, but a pitcher that records a win normally pitches well and more importantly, his team wins. Walker is averaging just 5 innings per start, but that number is deceiving.
The former Seattle Mariner is averaging just 5 innings per start, but that number is deceiving. He threw just 87 pitches in five innings Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers. Walker could have easily lasted one or two more innings, but a sore back prevented that. He walked one and struck out seven.
Walker has kept the ball in the ballpark. This is the most encouraging sign of his early-season output. After serving up 27 home runs in 2016, just one ball has left the yard in three starts.