DENVER – James Paxton wasn’t going to pitch again before the All-Star break and he wasn’t scheduled to pitch in the first few games coming out of the All-Star break. But now, he won’t be eligible to pitch until July 24.
The Mariners placed Paxton on the 10-day disabled list with lower back inflammation as one of a series of roster moves made before they opened a three-game series vs. the Rockies at Coors Field on Friday night.
The official moves:
- James Paxton, LHP, placed on the 10-day disabled list with lower back inflammation.
- Christian Bergman, RHP, recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.
- Casey Lawrence, RHP, recalled from Tacoma.
- Mike Morin, RHP, selected from Tacoma.
- Gordon Beckham, INF, optioned to Tacoma (July 12 postgame).
- Nick Rumbelow, RHP, optioned to Tacoma (July 12 postgame).
Paxton exited his start on Thursday night in Anaheim with lower back tightness. He had given up three runs and recorded two outs. While the Mariners don’t believe the back injury is significant, they decided to use the All-Star break to their advantage from a roster standpoint and place Paxton on the disabled list and add an extra reliever.
In 20 starts this season, Paxton is 8-4 with a 3.70 ERA. Prior to the injury, the Mariners were going to use the All-Star break and a few days after to give Paxton time to rest and gear up for the second half of the season. They are employing a similar strategy with fellow lefty Marco Gonzales. Now that plan has been adjusted with the DL stint. The first game Paxton’s eligible to start would be on July 24 vs. the Giants at Safeco Field.
“It gives us an extra player in this series,” manager Scott Servais said. “He wasn’t scheduled to pitch again for 10 days. It makes all the sense the world.”
Paxton seemed optimistic that he would be ready go by then.
“Standing here, I feel fine,” he said. “I think it’s a fast-twitch muscle thing when I try to really torque that muscle there. I don’t think it’s too serious. If it was more serious, I wouldn’t be able to walk or stand here. I think I just need a little bit of rest, a little bit of time, a little bit of TLC and I’ll be ready to go after the break.”
Bergman will start the series opener vs. the Rockies in place of the injured Felix Hernandez. He’s made one spot start this season for the Mariners, pitching seven scoreless innings and allowing two hits against the Tigers in Detroit.
Lawrence and Morin were brought in to bolster the bullpen and provide fresh arms for the series in the hitter friendly confines of Coors Field.
This will be Lawrence’s third stint with Mariners this season. He made four relief appearances for Seattle earlier this season, posting a 10.13 ERA.
“He’s been starting and has length,” Servais said. “No issues there. Casey has been with us a lot and we know him.”
Morin is on his second call-up to the Mariners. He made two relief appearances in early June, posting a 4.50 ERA and was then designated for assignment on June 14. He cleared waivers and was outrighted to Tacoma.
“He gives us an extra arm and we could need with the double switching,” Servais said. “In this ballpark, you need all the help you can get.”
Beckham was called up on Tuesday and had one at-bat in the three-game series vs. the Angels.
Rumbelow struggled in his second call-up this season, giving up four runs, including two homers in an inning in Thursday’s loss to the Angels. In eight relief appearances, he has a 7.84 ERA.
“Nick knew right away when I called him in, he said, ‘I have to be better and I’m making so many mistakes,’ ” Servais said. “Last night, it was a couple of breaking balls that were bad pitches that were left in the happy zone – not below the zone, not high enough, just right in the hit zone and they didn’t miss it. I still like Nick. I think he’s going to be a good major league reliever, but it’s just not happening right now with how he’s using his stuff. And he’s missing locations.”
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