Mariners Insider Blog

Rotation plans and injury updates

SEATTLE — Lefty swingman Vidal Nuno will get another spot start Wednesday, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon confirmed, and lefty James Paxton is tentatively targeted for a Sunday return to the rotation against Colorado.

"I wanted to see what kind of workload (Nuno) had out of the bullpen," McClendon explained, "before I made that decision. He pitched (part of) an inning (Sunday) in Oakland. He’s clean. He’s ready to go."

Nuno was pressed back into the rotation after Paxton suffered a setback Sept. 2 in what projected as his final rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma in his recovery from a strained tendon in his middle finger.

Paxton suffered a blister and a torn fingernail on the same finger.

"It’s feeling pretty good," he said. "(The nail) is starting to stick back down to my finger. I played catch (Monday) and there was no pain throwing. That’s a good sign."

Tentative plans call for Paxton to throw a regular bullpen session Thursday and, if all goes well, return Sunday to the rotation for the first time since May 28.


Outfielders Nelson Cruz and Franklin Gutierrez remain missing from the starting lineup, although each took part Tuesday in regular batting practice.

Cruz said he felt "better" in his recovery from a strained right quadriceps muscle suffered Sept. 2 in Houston. He underwent an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) exam Tuesday that showed nothing unexpected.

Club officials clarified Gutierrez’s injury, which was previously characterized as a strained right groin muscle. While his ailment is in the groin area, it stems from his chronic joint issues.