Mariners Insider Blog

Morning reading: Paxton strong in AFL debut, a plan for the Mariners

James Paxton got the start for the Peoria Javelinas in their Arizona Fall League opener and the hard-throwing lefty didn't disappoint, pitching three strong innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five.  Mariners prospects Carson Smith, Bobby LaFromboise and Logan Bawcom also got work in the game. Smith picked up the win in relief. Nick Franklin started at second base and went 1-for-4. Here's the boxscore.

From the story ...

Paxton, who went 9-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 21 starts for Double-A Jackson, held Surprise to a second-inning single by Red Sox prospect Michael Almanzar and a walk in the third, throwing 29 of 47 pitches for strikes. Fellow Mariners prospects Carson Smith, Logan Bawcom and Bobby LaFromboise combined with Matt Stites and Kevin Quackenbush (Padres) to close out the win.

"I felt really good," Paxton said. "I felt like I was a little rusty with some of my pitches, especially on the curveball; it wasn't breaking quite as much as I'm used to. But I felt pretty good for my first time out."

Paxton fanned three in the first, pitching around an error by Reds shortstop Didi Gregorius. He struck out two more in the second and erased his only walk when he got Cardinals prospect Kolten Wong to bounce into a double play in the third.

"It was big," Paxton said of the double play. "I think the third baseman [Cody Asche] came across and got it on a hop. He made a nice play and Nick Franklin turned it well at second. It got me out of that inning, so it was big."Elsewhere in the Marinersphere ....

Dave Cameron of USS Mariner and Fangraphs posted his annual " Off-season Plan" looking at what he would do with the roster if he were GM. It's a very smart and well thought out plan. I agree with most of it. And can't find much fault in his thought process.

I really like the idea of signing Melky Cabrera. Yes, he's a cheater. But the guy can play a little. Switching hitting outfielders that can hit and play a little defense are never bad. He would also be quite cheap considering his malfeasance.

The A's stayed alive in the playoffs last night with a win over Detroit. Coco Crisp's catch was pretty sick.

Like the leaves turning color and the air growing cold at night, another rite of fall is taking place - Alex Rodriguez is struggling in the clutch. It's so enjoyable.  ....