Mariners notebook: Paxton shut down from throwing

bob.dutton@thenewstribune.comMay 28, 2014 

The Seattle Mariners are putting left-handed pitcher James Paxton back on the shelf after an MRI revealed inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

Paxton will do no throwing activities until the inflammation dissipates, which is expected to take at least five-to-seven days.

The announcement came three days after Paxton threw 62 pitches in a rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma, which marked his first game action since suffering a strained back muscle in an April 8 start against the Angels.

The news represents something of a surprise. Paxton reported some minor soreness in his triceps after Saturday’s game.

The Mariners also reported right-hander Stephen Pryor will be placed on the seven-day disabled list for minor-league players after being diagnosed with a shoulder impingement.

Pryor is recovering from a torn back muscle that sidelined him for nearly all of last season. He has allowed 16 runs and 20 hits in 18 innings between Tacoma and Double-A Jackson this season in 16 appearances with 16 walks and 13 strikeouts.

Club officials said Pryor is likely to miss at least a week.

Paxton’s latest ailment shifts the Mariners’ short-term rehab focus to right-hander Taijuan Walker, who is scheduled to begin a minor-league assignment Wednesday in Tacoma in his recovery from shoulder soreness.

Walker is slotted for 70-75 pitches against Angels Triple-A affiliate Salt Lake at Cheney Stadium. His shoulder problems surfaced in February and returned in mid-April when he appeared poised to rejoin the rotation after two rehab starts.

“Everything feels great,” he said.

Then again, Paxton reported no problems in his recovery from a strained left latissimus dorsi muscle prior to (and after) his Saturday rehab start for the Rainiers.

Paxton’s latest injury seemed to ensure at least one more start for right-hander Brandon Maurer, who is 1-3 with a 6.99 ERA in six starts. Paxton had been viewed as a possible replacement before his latest problem.

MARINERS SIGN NADY?

The Mariners appear to be the next career stop for veteran outfielder/first baseman Xavier Nady.

The two sides have an agreement in place on a minor-league deal that should be confirmed in the next two days.

Nady, 35, chose to become a free agent earlier this month rather than accept an outright assignment by San Diego to Triple-A El Paso. He was 5-for-37 in 22 games for the Padres prior to being designated for assignment.

The tentative plan is for Nady to report to Tacoma in what amounts to a tryout. If productive, he would likely be summoned to the big-league club in hopes he could provide a right-handed power bat to a lefty-heavy lineup.

Nady has a .268 batting average, .323 on-base percentage and ,432 on base plus slugging percentage with 104 homers and 410 RBIs in 961 career big-league games over 12 seasons with eight teams.

He spent last season at Triple-A in the Kansas City and Colorado systems before signing in January with the Padres as a free agent.

CANO IN SECOND PLACE

Robinson Cano was a close second to Detroit’s Ian Kinsler in the first American League balloting update for the All-Star Game released by Major League Baseball.

Cano trails Kinsler by 5,951 votes (356,244 to 350,293) in balloting to determine the AL’s starting second baseman for the All-Star Game on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Fans picked Cano as the starter the past four seasons.

No other Mariners are listed among the position leaders; MLB releases the top five vote-getters for catcher, designated hitter and each of the four infield positions. It releases the top 15 outfielders.

In-stadium balloting runs through June 26, but online ballots are accepted at www.mlb.com and www.mariners.com through 8:59 p.m. (PDT) on July 3. The teams will be revealed the weekend of July 5-6.

Cano is also one of 10 AL candidates in fan balloting at www.mlb.com to determine preferences for the Home Run Derby. The poll does not determine the participants. Cano won the Derby in 2011 at Chase Field in Arizona.

LOOKING BACK

It was 16 years ago Wednesday — May 28, 1998 — that Edgar Martinez became the first player to hit a ball off the lower catwalk at Tropicana Field. His three-run homer lifted the Mariners to a 5-2 victory at Tampa Bay.

Martinez’s homer came in the first inning against Devil Rays starter Jason Johnson. Alex Rodriguez and Glenallen Hill also hit homers in support of Jamie Moyer, who pitched eight scoreless innings.

SHORT HOPS

Cano served as the designated hitter after getting inadvertently spiked Monday by Kole Calhoun of the Angels. Manager Lloyd McClendon characterized the move as a chance to get Cano “off his legs a little bit.”… The Mariners have hit 13 triples in 51 games this season. They hit 17 all of last year. … The Mariners, prior to Tuesday, had only three homers their past 12 games and none in their past 28 innings, dating to Willie Bloomquist’s two-run shot last Friday in the sixth inning against Houston.

ON TAP

The Mariners and Angels continue their four-game series at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday at Safeco Field. Right-hander Felix Hernandez (6-1, 2.75 ERA) will face Los Angeles lefty C.J. Wilson (6-3, 3.00).

Root Sports will televise the game.

The clubs conclude the series Thursday night before the Detroit Tigers come to Safeco for a three-game weekend series.

bob.dutton@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @TNT_Mariners

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