Mariners Insider Blog

Paxton on pace to start Sunday for Tacoma

SEATTLE – Some good news on the rehab front: Left-hander James Paxton, barring an unexpected setback, will start Sunday for Triple-A Tacoma against Memphis (Cardinals) at Cheney Stadium.

Paxton flashed a thumbs-up following a Friday throwing session that marked the final test in his recovery from a strained tendon in his middle finger prior to departing on a minor-league rehab assignment.

"He’ll go out in his first outing," manager Lloyd McClendon said, "and hopefully throw somewhere around 45-50 pitches. Second outing, we’ll try to get him built up to 65-70. Then we’ll see."

A best-case scenario projects Paxton to return to the rotation around Labor Day. He was 3-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 10 starts when he suffered the injury in the fifth inning of a May 28 start against Cleveland.