Paxton will start on Saturday in the place where he was struck on the forearm by a line drive, sending him to the disabled list.
OAKLAND — The Mariners will get one of their two left-handed starting pitchers on the disabled list back in the coming days, but the other might not be ready to go when he’s eligible to return.
Left-hander James Paxton will start on Saturday night vs. the A’s. Paxton threw a bullpen session on Tuesday in San Diego and had no problems with his left forearm, setting him up for a return.
“Pax should be good to go on Saturday,” Servais said. “He’s looking forward to getting out there and we are looking forward to seeing him out there. Last time he was here, it didn’t go so well. Hopefully it goes a little better this time.”
It was in the Oakland Coliseum back on August 15 when Paxton was struck in the left forearm by a 96-mph line drive off the bat of Jed Lowrie. It forced him out of the game and on to the disabled list.
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“It’s been tough being out,” Paxton said. “You never like being hurt, but I’m definitely ready to get back out there.
Paxton’s bullpen session on Tuesday featured an increased intensity level. It was similar to the bullpen he threw in Arizona three days prior.
“I wanted to get some more intense throwing in since I haven’t been in a game for a while,” he said. “I wanted to throw a few more pitches to make sure my arm was ready to take that load. I feel good about where I got to in my bullpen. And I feel confident that my body is ready to go for the game.”
Meanwhile left-hander Marco Gonzales just started playing catch again after being placed on the disabled list on Monday with a strained muscle in his neck. He played light catch on Wednesday in San Diego and increased the intensity a little on Thursday.
“I don’t know if 30 feet and lobbing it qualifies,” he said. “We are not trying to build up or anything. We are just trying to keep the shoulder moving and fluid so I’m not rusty.”
Gonzales said the neck is feeling better and moving in the right direction, but sleeping and how it feels each morning is still a process that hasn’t yielded ideal results.
“Every night is something different,” he said. “I’m trying new tricks and different things. But I’m trying to get to bed early and rest it. Different positions will trigger it. But I’m trying to sleep in the positions that I can and stay there. I tend to roll around a lot.”
Gonzales still believes he’ll be ready to go when he’s eligible to return on Sept. 4. But he hasn’t thrown off a mound and said that aspect is not “even on my radar.” It seems like a bullpen will be mandatory before Gonzales is slotted back into the rotation.
When Gonzales does return, the Mariners will likely stay with six starters in the rotation instead of five.
“We’ve talked about it,” Servais said. “We’ve run our starting pitching hard this year. We had to. They were carrying us for a big part of our season. It’s an option. But you have to have all six guys healthy and ready to go. It really depends on where Marco is at going forward.”
A minor trade …
The Mariners made a late acquisition, picking up utility player Kristopher Negron from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for cash considerations. The Mariners immediately assigned Negron to Class AAA Tacoma.
The 32-year-old Negron played in two big league games this season, going 1 for 3 a RBI. He played in 118 games for Class AAA Reno, hitting .283 with 17 doubles, five triples, 15 homers and 45 RBI.
Over the parts of five seasons, dating back to 2012, Negron has played in 112 games at the MLB level, hitting .216 (58 for 269) average with 13 doubles, a triple, six home runs and 21 RBI.