Mariners’ James Paxton has reportedly received recommendation to undergo Tommy John surgery
The hope that James Paxton’s second stint with the Mariners wasn’t over as quick as it started appears to have been squashed.
Paxton, who left his first start of the season Tuesday after just 24 pitches with an arm issue, has received a recommendation to undergo Tommy John surgery, as first reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Tommy John surgery is a prevalent procedure done these days for pitchers who tear the ulnar collateral ligament in their pitching elbows. It typically takes over a year for pitchers to recover from.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said Thursday morning on his weekly show with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant that Paxton was seeking a second opinion but did not disclose what Paxton’s injury was believed to be.
Paxton’s injury was first described as left elbow discomfort after he exited Tuesday’s game, though it was deemed a left forearm strain after the game. The 32-year-old left-hander’s 2020 season with the Yankees ended early due to a left forearm flexor strain, but he said Tuesday night that this injury felt different.
“We’re going to find out a little bit more I would say in the next 48 hours,” Dipoto said Thursday morning about Paxton’s injury. “Obviously, not a good sign … Our expectation is this is not going to be a short stint on the (injured list). We’re just fingers crossed that it’s not anything long-term.”
Paxton, a native of Ladner, British Columbia, spent the first six years of his MLB career with the Mariners. At times during that first tenure with the team he was Seattle’s best starting pitcher, but he has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career to the point that he has never made it through an entire MLB season without making at least one trip to the injured list.
The Mariners brought back Paxton on a one-year contract just prior to spring training, roughly two years after trading him to New York in a deal that was one of the first parts of Seattle beginning a rebuild.