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Mariners select RHP Walker and OF Almonte

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HOUSTON -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today the following roster moves:

  • RHP Taijuan Walker selected from AAA Tacoma
  • OF Abraham Almonte selected from AAA Tacoma
  • RHP Erasmo Ramirez optioned to AAA Tacoma

Walker (#27) will make his Major League debut tonight starting against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park (7:10 pm CT/5:10 pm PT). Almonte (#36) will also be making his Major League debut with his first appearance in a game.

Walker, 21, is the Mariners top pitching prospect and was listed by MLB.com as the No. 5 prospect in baseball heading into the 2013 season. In 25 starts split between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma, Walker has combined to go 9-10 with a 2.93 ERA (46 ER, 141.1 IP) and is averaging 10.19 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched (160 strikeouts). Walker is tied for 4th among minor league pitchers in strikeouts.

The 6-4, 210-pound right-hander pitched in the All-Star Futures Game and was selected as a Southern League All-Star. In four minor league seasons he has combined to go 23-26 with a 3.49 ERA and recorded 400 strikeouts (9.69 K/9.0 IP). He was originally selected by Seattle in the supplemental first round (43rd overall) in the 2010 June Amateur Draft.

Almonte, 24, has combined to bat .300 (132x440) with 23 doubles, 6 triples, 15 home runs, 68 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 123 games with AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma. In 94 games with the Rainiers, Almonte is batting .314 (106x338) with 17 doubles, 5 triples, 11 home runs, 50 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Since his Tacoma debut on May 13, Almonte's .894 OPS is 7th-best among Triple-A players.

Almonte was acquired by Seattle from New York (AL) on Feb. 13, 2013 in exchange for RHP Shawn Kelley. The native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2005.

Ramirez, 23, is 5-1 with a 5.18 ERA in 9 games/8 starts this season. He is still scheduled to make his next start with the Mariners on Tuesday (Sept. 3) following the completion of the Tacoma Rainiers season.

With these transactions, the Mariners 40-man roster is now at 39 players (see attached 25-man roster).

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