Mariners starter James Paxton day-to-day after getting struck on pitching elbow
Shortly after becoming the first pitcher to strike Mike Trout out four times in a ballgame, James Paxton was out of the Mariners’ 3-1 win after getting hit in the left elbow with a comebacker off the bat of Andrelton Simmons with one out in the ninth inning. Paxton immediately dropped to the ground in obvious pain after being struck by the ball and quickly left the field with trainer Rick Griffin.
“I just felt sick to my stomach for him and everybody involved,” manager Scott Servais said in his media session following the game. “To pitch the ballgame he did, it was an opportunity for him to try to close it out.”
At that point, x-rays of Paxton’s elbow had been taken but not read. Trainer Rick Griffin and team physician Dr. Mitch Storey were waiting for Servais in his office when he finished the media session. Shortly after the Mariners announced that the initial x-rays were negative, Paxton was day-to-day with a left elbow contusion and that he would be re-evaluated Monday.
Good news that there was no break, although a bruise on the pitching elbow could be problematic depending on the severity and the swelling. Paxton did appear to be in good spirits in the “Swelmet” picture tweeted by third base coach Manny Acta after the game. We should learn more about the injury on Monday.
For Paxton it was a terrible end to a brilliant start. In addition to striking out Trout four times, the 8 1/3 innings were a new career high for him. With closer Edwin Diaz not available Sunday, Servais said he felt completely comfortable giving Paxton the opportunity to finish his first game.
“I thought today was his day,” said Servais, who checked in with Paxton between innings. “He felt great, he wanted to go back out there. I can’t say enough about the job he did.”
Paxton’s final line was 8 1/3 innings pitched, five hits, one run, no earned runs, a walk and six strikeouts. He threw 113 pitches, 80 for strikes. Tom Wilhelmsen recorded his first save of the season, getting the final two outs.
Paxton has allowed just five earned runs over his last four starts. With an off day Thursday – the only off day in the next 24 – the Mariners could give him one extra day if needed. If the elbow requires more time to heal, we most likely would see Ariel Miranda, who was moved to the bullpen Saturday, take his his spot.