3 Phillies players heading into the regular season hot, and 2 who are not

Spring training is the time of year when players work off some rust and hone their skills — some look to be in midseason form, while others are still working to get where they want to be.

Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Kyle Schwarber
Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Kyle Schwarber / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Phillies who are not: Taijuan Walker

Taijuan Walker has had a tumultuous Phillies career since he signed a four-year deal last offseason. He had a mediocre 2023 campaign before not appearing once in the 2023 postseason. He seemed determined to prove his doubters wrong this year and came into 2024 with high hopes.

But it hasn’t gone exactly how he planned. His spring training debut was delayed initially by knee soreness, which isn’t a great sign. He then started in two spring training games, pitching a total of 4 2/3 innings and surrendering a staggering eight earned runs for a 15.43 ERA and 2.357 WHIP. He gave up three home runs, seven hits, and three walks in those four-plus innings.

His worst outing came in his second and final start. He didn’t get out of the first inning while giving up two home runs and five runs. He was reinserted as the pitcher for the second inning and promptly served up another two-run home run that officially ended his day.

The 31-year-old will start the regular season on the 15-day injured list with shoulder discomfort, as reported by Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer. None of his spring training bodes well for the veteran pitcher. Walker hopes to turn around his Phillies career but will have to wipe the 2023 spring training slate clean before he can move forward.