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MLB notes: M’s to shut down Taijuan Walker for a week


Taijuan Walker’s ascension to a spot in the Seattle Mariners rotation is on hold.

The Mariners shut down their top pitching prospect for at least one week on Friday after exams revealed inflammation in the bursa of his right shoulder. Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said the decision was made after Walker flew to Los Angeles to get a second opinion on the sore shoulder that has limited him during spring training.

“It definitely (stinks),” Walker said. “I feel good about the situation. I’d rather not push it and fight through something and make it worse. I’m just going to take the time off.”

Walker was examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles on Thursday. For now it appears to be a minor setback and something many pitchers experience.

Paxton sharp in rout

James Paxton retired all six batters he faced, Nick Franklin homered and the Mariners beat the San Diego Padres 12-1 at Peoria, Ariz.

Franklin homered off Tim Stauffer in the third. Nate Tenbrink and James Jones also homered.

Robinson Cano was given the afternoon off.

Iwakuma 3 weeks away

Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will wear a splint on his injured right middle finger for another three weeks before starting to throw.

Iwakuma was examined by Dr. Don Sheridan in Arizona. The additional three weeks is in line with the original recommendation of four to six weeks for Iwakuma to have his finger immobilized because of a strained tendon.

Clearing the bases

Mike Trout hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in the Los Angeles Angels’ 15-3 win over the Chicago Cubs at Tempe, Ariz. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi said “I think that’s pretty safe to say” that Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka could make his first regular-season start in New York’s third or fourth game.

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Ichi-who? Suzuki sits on M’s bench in fake mustache disguise

UPDATED: 7:39 p.m.

The Seattle Mariners have seen a whole new side of Ichiro Suzuki. The former star player-turned-team executive showed up on the bench at Yankee Stadium in disguise, wearing a fake bushy mustache, shades and hoodie for the first inning Thursday. Because he’s not a player or coach, the 44-year-old Suzuki isn’t allowed in the dugout during games under Major League Baseball rules. But Associated Press photographer Bill Kostroun spotted Suzuki watching from the back row of the dugout.