Mariners’ James Paxton knocked from start after being hit in left arm
OAKLAND, Calif. – The buzz around the return of Robinson Canó wore off quickly with the sight of James Paxton being knocked out of the Mariners’ game against the A’s.
Just three batters in, Paxton was struck on the left arm by a ball that came off the bat of Jed Lowrie at 96 miles per hour. Paxton grabbed his arm and doubled over briefly after being hit, then turned and walked slowly toward second base as trainers and manager Scott Servais ran to check on him.
The Mariners announced during the game that an X-ray on Paxton’s injury was negative and that he is day to day.
A few seconds after Lowrie’s hit struck Paxton, Félix Hernández sprinted from the dugout to the visitor’s bullpen located down the right field line. He was quickly redirected to the stadium mound as Paxton was leaving the game.
Félix, who lost his spot in the starting rotation less than a week ago, was pressed into action, making his first career appearance out of the bullpen as an emergency replacement. As such, he was given all the time he needed to get ready.
After a few words from pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., Félix began to stretch and then play catch with catcher Mike Zunino. In a sight you don’t normally see, Stottlemyre stayed with him for the complete warmup. Most relievers have been in similar situations and know how to get ready quickly. For Félix, it was clear Stottlemyre wanted him to take his time as this was uncharted territory for the former ace.
Félix walked Oakland cleanup hitter Khris Davis, the first batter he faced, on 10 pitches, but then got a double play ball off the bat of Matt Olson (who pinch hit for Mark Canha when the left-handed Paxton left the game) to end the inning. He followed up with a quick 1-2-3 second inning. His routine has been altered in the last week as he now throws daily with the relievers and was up in multiple innings in Sunday’s game against the Astros. He will be needed for significant innings in this ballgame and possibly beyond.
This isn’t the first time Paxton has encountered an injury like this. In 2016, he was hit in the left arm by a comebacker off the bat of the Angels’ Andrelton Simmons that forced him to miss 16 days with a contusion.