Having already spent the better part of the season on the disabled list, James Paxton doesn’t appear to any closer to returning to the Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation after an MRI revealed further inflammation in his ailing left shoulder. The team will shut him down completely for the next 5-7 days, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, with the hope that the inflammation subsides. He’ll be further re-evaluated at that time.
Following an impressive debut with the team last September, Paxton began the season in the Mariners’ rotation and made a pair of solid starts, allowing just three runs on six hits while picking up the win in each outing. He’d complained of some soreness in his shoulder after the second start against the Los Angeles Angels, prompting team doctors to evaluate him before diagnosing the pain as a strained lat muscle.
Paxton made his first rehab appearance last week, lasting just three innings while throwing 62 pitches. Continued soreness prompted the team to undergo an additional MRI which revealed the inflammation. The hope had been that with one or two more rehab appearances he might have been able to rejoin the rotation, but those plans are now on hold.
Frustration has naturally started to brew, as Paxton told MLB.com’s Greg Johns following the news:
It is tough when you get that close to being back and then have something hold you back a little bit, but we just have to take it one day at a time right now and take care of it so I can get back out there as soon as possible. I think it’s just from upping the intensity after not throwing for awhile. I don’t think it’s a big, big deal. I just have to give it a little time.
Injuries to their pitching staff have hardly been foreign to the Mariners this season. Hisashi Iwakuma missed time at the beginning of the year with a broken finger, but has since returned. Taijuan Walker was slowed in Spring Training and then experienced a setback in his own recovery, but he is expected to make a rehab start on Wednesday for Triple-A Tacoma as he works to rejoin the team’s rotation. Danny Hultzen, their third top pitching prospect along with Walker and Paxton, will miss the entire 2014 season after undergoing surgery on his shoulder last October.