James Paxton’s return to the starting rotation has been put on hold again.
Before Tuesday’s game Paxton met with Mariners team orthopedist Dr. Edward Khalfayan because of stiffness in his triceps and upper arm. Paxton underwent magnetic resonance imaging, which revealed inflammation in Paxton’s shoulder. Paxton is being shut down until the inflammation subsides, hopefully just 5 to 7 days.
Paxton hasn’t pitched in a major-league game since April 8, when he suffered a strained lat muscle in a start against the Angels and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA.
Paxton was slowly working his way back to the rotation. He made his first rehab start Saturday, throwing three innings and 63 pitches.
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He felt the discomfort in his triceps on Sunday, but considered it normal soreness after throwing off the mound in a game for the first time in over a month. However, the soreness was still there on Monday when he was scheduled to throw his bullpen session. The Mariners postponed the session and decided to have him meet with Khalfayan when the shoulder was still sore on Tuesday.
With fellow prized pitching prospect Taijuan Walker also battling shoulder issues, the M’s will likely be very careful with Paxton.
There was more bad news on the injury front. Right-hander Stephen Pryor, pitching for Class AAA Tacoma, also met with Khalfayan and was diagnosed with an impingement in his shoulder and was shut down for seven days. Pryor is trying to return from season-ending surgery last season. Pryor suffered a strained lat early in the season and had issues in his recovery. He had yet to return to his old form this season, posting a 1-1 record with one save and a 6.28 ERA in 12 appearances with Tacoma.
• Walker is still scheduled to pitch Wednesday in Tacoma. He will throw 75 pitches.
• According to multiple reports, the Mariners and veteran free-agent first baseman Xavier Nady have agreed to a minor-league contract. Nady was hitting .135 with three homers and four RBI in 22 games with the Padres before being released.