PEORIA, Ariz. — Lefty James Paxton vowed to be ready to break camp on the 25-man roster after making his spring debut Tuesday by pitching three simulated innings against minor-leaguers.
“I felt like it was pretty good," he said. “I was throwing some curveballs and cutters for strikes. I was moving the fastball around a little bit. I threw some OK change-ups…but I have some time to tighten those things up.”
Paxton said he felt none of the forearm soreness that slowed his progress earlier in camp: "Nothing at all. Everything feels great.” He is on track to make his Cactus League debut Sunday against Texas at Peoria Stadium.
“With no setbacks,” manager Lloyd McClendon said, “he’ll have four starts (prior to the season). Most of the guys will have five.”
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Paxton said four will be enough.
“I’ll be ready,” he said. “Absolutely.”
GUAIPE TO TACOMA
The Mariners trimmed their camp roster to 50 players prior to Tuesday’s game by optioning right-handed pitcher Mayckol Guaipe to Triple-A Tacoma.
Guaipe, 24, gave up two runs on two hits and two walks over two innings in two spring appearances. He was 1-3 with a 2.89 ERA last season in 40 relief appearances at Double-A Jackson.
“They would probably stay anyway,” McClendon said. “I don’t think that really changes. They were going to stay quite a while anyway.”
Both players were on the travel roster for Tuesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox in Glendale.
Marte leads the club with 12 games played, prior to Tuesday, and has rebounded from a shaky start in which he made five errors over a three-game span. He was also 6-for-21, prior to Tuesday, at the plate.
“You make a couple of errors,” McClendon said, “things start speeding up on you. I think he’s relaxed a little more now. We’ve got a player.”
Marte, 21, is the No. 3 prospect on the TNT Top 10 and batted a combined .304 last season in 128 games at Jackson and Tacoma.
The Mariners signed O’Malley, 27, to a minor-league deal on Jan. 22. He spent most of last season at Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels’ system. O’Malley entered Tuesday at 1-for-13 in games.
“He hasn’t had a lot of at-bats,” McClendon said, “and he hasn’t had a lot of opportunities. But I think he’s a very serviceable big-league player. I like him a lot, and I’m glad we have him. He certainly adds depth for us.”
Lefty reliever Edgar Olmos, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, is tentatively scheduled to begin throwing Monday from flat ground and could be on a mound within two weeks.
Olmos, 24, returned March 5 to the Mariners when Major League Baseball voided Texas’ Feb. 24 waiver claim after the Rangers’ pre-camp examination revealed the injury.
The Mariners acquired Olmos in a Nov. 20 waiver claim from Miami. He was a combined 3-3 last season with a 4.06 ERA in 51 games at Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans.