The expected roster moves came midmorning Wednesday, hours before the Mariners were set to face the White Sox in the finale of their opening homestand of 2021.
Seattle placed left-handed pitcher James Paxton (left forearm strain) and outfielder Jake Fraley (left hamstring strain) on the 10-day injured list after both exited Tuesday night’s game unexpectedly.
The Mariners recalled outfielder Braden Bishop and right-handed pitcher Ljay Newsome as the corresponding roster moves.
Paxton and Fraley both underwent MRIs early Wednesday morning. Manager Scott Servais had no updates on their condition when he held his pregame video session with the media.
Newsome will slot into the bullpen as a long reliever while lefty Nick Margevicius will take over Paxton’s spot in the rotation.
Paxton has had multiple conversations with Servais since being removed from his first start in the second inning.
“I talked to him last night and this morning,” Servais said. “He stopped in my office late last night, and he was certainly very disappointed. Leaving last night, he was a little bit more optimistic that it wasn’t anything too serious. I know he woke up today and it’s stiff, as expected. Really, it’s hard to speculate until you know exactly what’s going on there and the only way you’re gonna know is when we get the reading on the MRI.”
Due to MLB protocols, calling up players from the alternate training site, which is also being held at T-Mobile Park, is the easiest and quickest way to make a roster move.
Obviously fans are clamoring for top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert to be called up. But the Mariners are holding firm to their plans.
“The plan with those players, it’s about their development, and making sure that they’re ready when they get here,” Servais said. “You don’t want to just all of a sudden derail everything for something you firmly believe in because now there’s a roster spot open, or you need to fill it or whatnot. I don’t think that’s good development strategy at all. So we’ll stick with the plan there.”
Evan White suffered a strained left quadriceps while running to first in Wednesday’s game. The Mariners likely won’t immediately place him on the 10-day injured list. They will play the game on Thursday in Minnesota without him and then wait until after the Friday off day in Minneapolis to reevaluate the situation.