Mariners will take whatever they can get from Felix and Paxton in Texas
Felix Hernandez and James Paxton will make their returns in Texas.
Felix, who has been out since Aug. 2 with a second bout of shoulder bursitis, is scheduled to pitch for the Mariners against the Rangers on Thursday. On Friday, Paxton will start the series opener against the Astros in Houston. It will be his first game since he exited his Aug. 10 start with a pectoral muscle strain.
“We are hoping those guys will make four starts for us and hopefully all four are important,” said manager Scott Servais.
Ariel Miranda will start the game Monday in Arlington with Marco Gonzales getting the start Tuesday. Mike Leake will go Wednesday and be followed by Hernandez and Paxton. With Felix limited to around 50 pitches in his return it most likely will be Andrew Albers who follows him out of the bullpen.
“We’ve got different guys who can bridge the gap or be our long guy. Albers has done a great job for us so he will probably pitch after him,” said Servais.
Andrew Moore is another candidate to “piggy back” either start.
With the minor league seasons ending last week there is nowhere to send Paxton and Hernandez to get rehab starts, so they will face big leaguers coming off the DL. While both will have their pitch counts limited, with the team three games out of the second wild card spot the Mariners will take whatever they can get from the two pitchers.
“The biggest thing is get those guys out there and hopefully they feel good, healthy and we can build on that for the next one,” said Servais.