Taijuan Walker ready for playoff bullpen role if necessary

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Taijuan Walker surrendered four runs and six hits over six innings in a loss to the Brewers on Thursday, raising his season ERA to 3.53 and his ERA since Aug. 1 to 5.24.

Walker’s recent struggles have raised the question whether the 2021 All-Star belongs in the Mets’ playoff rotation, or if New York will run a four-man rotation of Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, and Carlos Carrasco.

If New York decides to move Walker to the bullpen, he will accept it and do whatever Buck Showalter asks of him.

“Whatever they want me to do,” Walker said. “This is my ninth year in the big leagues. If they want me to start, I'll do that. If they want me to go in the bullpen, I can do that also.”

Of the 165 games Walker has appeared in throughout his career, only four haven’t come as a starter. But regardless of the lack of workload, he would be ready when called upon when the stakes are the highest.

“I know how to prepare and I know what my body needs,” Walker said. “So whatever the team needs, I'm here for them.”

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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