SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners activate James Paxton, DFA Wade LeBlanc

Aug 25, 2016, 10:05 AM | Updated: 3:11 pm
James Paxton hasn't pitched since he was hit on his left elbow with a line drive on Aug. 7. (AP)...
James Paxton hasn't pitched since he was hit on his left elbow with a line drive on Aug. 7. (AP)
(AP)

CHICAGO – As expected, James Paxton will return to the mound Thursday as the Mariners have activated him from the 15-day disabled list. Utility man Mike Freeman was also recalled from Triple-A Tacoma ahead of the Mariners’ series opener against the White Sox. To make room for Paxton and Freeman, left-hander Wade LeBlanc has been designated for assignment and reliever Tony Zych has been optioned to Tacoma.

Paxton was placed on the DL Aug. 18 after getting hit on the elbow with a come-backer on Aug. 7 and suffering a bruise. He threw a three-inning rehab outing Saturday in Tacoma and since then has been on his regular routine leading into a start.

With Kyle Seager unable to play Wednesday because of a bruise on his foot, the Mariners have another infield option in Freeman, who went 2 for 6 in two games for Seattle earlier this month. While Seager’s X-rays did not show any structural damage, he did still have trouble putting weight on that foot after Wednesday’s game. It’s not expected that he will need to go on the DL, but he could require a couple more days of rest.

LeBlanc pitched in 11 games for the Mariners, including eight starts and three relief appearances. He posted a 4.43 ERA in his eight starts with the team, winning seven of those games. As Freeman and Zych were already on the Mariners’ 40-man roster, the LeBlanc move leaves it at 39.

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