Paxton is currently on the disabled list with lower back inflammation. But he expects to come off the DL and start on Monday vs. the Astros at Safeco Field.
ANAHEIM — James Paxton “felt really good” during his 32-pitch bullpen session on Friday afternoon in the heat of Angels Stadium.
There was no discomfort or tightness in his lower back before the session or immediately after it. It was a step toward getting him ready to be activated from the 10-day disabled list and start Monday’s homestand opener vs. the Astros at Safeco Field.
“There was nothing holding me back,” he said with no pun intended. “As I long as I come in tomorrow and feel like I do today, I’d say we are good to go.”
It was in the very same park where Paxton made his last start on July 12, exiting the game early with discomfort in his lower back. The Mariners placed him on the disabled list more as a function of the schedule to take advantage of the All-Star break. But Paxton was scratched from his scheduled start on Tuesday vs. the Giants when he felt some discomfort and tightness in his lower back following his in-between-starts bullpen.
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“The last few days I’ve been waking up with no back stiffness,” he said. “For a while there, I would wake up and my back would be stiff and I had stretch it out. Now I’m not even thinking about it. And that means I’m not thinking about it when I’m throwing. That’s the main thing. You don’t want to be out there feeling for an injury when you are trying to pitch. You want to be thinking about pitching.”