Left-hander James Paxton was scratched just before his scheduled start for the Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday. Before the evening was over, he was flying south to meet the big-league club in San Diego, where the Padres and Mariners will open a two-game series Wednesday.
Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said Paxton will likely be activated and join the Mariners on Wednesday, with a corresponding roster move that has yet to be determined.
In disclosing Paxton’s scratched start Tuesday, Rainiers manager Pat Listach only said the reason wasn’t injury related.
“I just got a call from Seattle saying ‘Don’t let him start today,’ ” Listach said. “The reason why — they said ‘He’s not starting for you, he’s doing something alternative.’”
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Paxton is 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts for the Rainiers this season. He has struck out 50 batters in 47 2/3 innings.
Jonathan Aro (2-1, 1.46 ERA) started for Paxton in his place on Tuesday.
“(Paxton’s) not hurt. He’s not going to start. They just said to use the bullpen today. I don’t know what’s going on,” Listach said. “But I know he was hurt a lot last year and they were trying to monitor his innings.”
Listach said he didn’t know if that meant he was heading back to Seattle.
“He may be called up, actually,” Listach said. “I think they wanted to hold him out just in case he is.”
Paxton started last season as the No. 2 starter in the Mariners rotation and made 13 starts for Seattle. But spent much of the season rehabbing rom a strained tendon in his left middle finger before his season ended with a torn fingernail on his left hand.
He competed for the final spot in the Mariners’ rotation during spring training.
Also, Tuesday’s game is the first for Ketel Marte in his rehab assignment from a sprained left thumb. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 22 after hitting .276 with a .685 OPS in 163 plate appearances for the Mariners this season.