4 moves the Phillies should make to replace Taijuan Walker before Opening Day

Taijuan Walker will not be ready for Opening Day, and the Phillies need to fill the hole in the rotation. While there are external options at play, there is enough talent on the roster to bandage the wound to start the season
Mar 15, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull
Mar 15, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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After getting a late start to his spring training, Philadelphia Phillies starter Taijuan Walker has had some setbacks. It started with "normal" knee soreness, which delayed his build-up. After some rough starts, things got worse, as he reported his shoulder not feeling right during a bullpen session this past weekend.

The right-hander got checked out, and according to The Athletic's Matt Gelb, Walker is suffering from a shoulder impingement and will open the season on the injured list.

After not throwing a single inning in the 2023 postseason, the 31-year-old Walker had opened up his spring campaign pitching to a 15.43 ERA over 4 2/3 innings in his two starts. The competition for the last rotation spot quickly shifted off the back of the young Cristopher Sánchez and onto the veteran Walker.

It's never a good thing to have an injury this close to Opening Day, especially to the rotation. That being said, the Phillies were prepared for it. Late in the offseason, there was a definite focus on building starting pitching depth.

The final rotation spot will ultimately need to be filled before April 3, the sixth game of the season, as there is sufficient rest for Zack Wheeler to throw on his normal program for Game 5 versus the Cincinnati Reds. The Phillies front office and management luckily have several different routes available to them, as well as the reassurance of a below-average schedule during the first month of the season.

It is important for the Phillies to get off to a quick start as the schedule plays into their favor. They play a multitude of .500 or below teams during the first month of the season. With high hopes and championship aspirations, look for manager Rob Thomson and the Phillies to try and find something that works quickly.

What's the best course of action with Opening Day right around the corner? That depends on who you ask. Here are four possible options the Phillies should consider to replace Taijuan Walker in the rotation.

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