He is behind schedule compared with his fellow starting pitchers after injuring both his wrists in a fall during agility drills before spring training started.

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PEORIA, Ariz. — James Paxton finally is starting catch up after his delayed start to spring training. The Mariners’ big left-hander faced hitters for the first time Wednesday, throwing a 30-pitch live batting practice session to Gabby Guerrero, Ian Miller and fellow Canadian Gareth Morgan.

“I feel really good, healthy,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with my arm. It felt good to get back on the mound and have some hitters in the box.”

Paxton is behind schedule compared with his fellow starting pitchers after injuring both his wrists in a fall during agility drills before spring training started. Paxton felt some pain in the wrist/forearm area the day after the fall while playing catch, and the Mariners shut him down from throwing as a precaution.

It was a frustrating start, but he’s back on pace to be ready for the season. Paxton will throw an extended bullpen session with hitters standing in the batter’s box for the last 20 pitches as preparation for his first Cactus League start Tuesday. If all goes as planned, he would make four spring-training starts before the season.

Paxton’s command was as expected in his first time facing hitters – a little inconsistent. He said his curveball was a little up in the zone at times. It was a different feeling than throwing a bullpen session.

“When you get a guy in the box for the first time in sixth months, it’s a little weird,” he said. “It’s a different optical thing. It’s good to get back out there and get that feeling again.”

At one point early in the session, pitching coach Rick Waits made Paxton pause and offered some instruction.

“I was working on a different changeup,” Paxton said. “I’m trying to throw a two-seam instead of the four-seam that I usually throw. I was slowing my arm down a little bit, and he wanted me to keep my arm speed up and keep the same arm speed with that pitch.

“I’m working on getting a little more movement so that I can use it as a swing-and-miss pitch as well as light contact,” he added. “I felt like last year my changeup was a little bit straight and a little bit hard. This should be a little bit slower also.”

Paxton said the new change­up came by almost by accident.

“I was just king of playing around with stuff and I threw it playing catch,” he said. “It was moving really well and I liked the way it feels in my hand. It was just something I thought I’d try.”

The grip is essentially the same.

“I’m holding it pretty much the same way, but I’m just putting the ball in a different place in my hand,” he said.

The downward action that runs away from right-handers could be a big weapon for him if he figures it out.

“I really liked what I’ve seen playing catch with it; it’s just a matter of throwing it more off the mound to get comfortable with it,” he said.

A new second baseman?

The Mariners have added a new player to their roster for Thursday’s game against the A’s in Mesa. Comedian Will Ferrell will suit up for the Mariners and 10 other teams as part of a project by his video website Funny or Die and in conjunction with Major League Baseball. The film will be aired by HBO.

The project is to honor and recreate the feat of Bert Campaneris, who played all nine positions in a game for the Kansas City Athletics against the California Angels on Sept. 8, 1965. This project also is honoring “the fight against cancer,” with most of the proceeds earned going to a variety of charities, including Cancer for College and Stand Up to Cancer.

Ferrell’s interpretation of Campaneris’ feat will be a little different. He plans to play all nine positions on the field, and maybe a few other positions (manager, umpire) off the field over the course of five games Thursday with appearances with all 10 teams.

“Spring training affords an appropriate setting where our game can serve as the backdrop for an event that will benefit organizations that fight cancer,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Will is a big fan of our game, and many of us in baseball – among our clubs, players and our millions of fans – are big fans of his.”

The Mariners’ game with the Athletics was moved up an hour to 12:05 p.m. to accommodate Ferrell’s quest. And the team is being more than helpful in his endeavor.

“I’ve spent my entire career, including since my arrival in Seattle as general manager, looking to identify and procure talent,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. “I can say with confidence that I’ve never scouted a talent like Will before.”

Sources have said Ferrell will play one inning at second base for Seattle.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” third baseman Kyle Seager said. “He’s a big star. Whatever he does, I’m sure it will be pretty good.”

Ferrell’s schedule

• 12:05 p.m. — Mariners at Oakland Athletics.

• 1:10 p.m. — Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels.

• 2:10 p.m. — Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks.

• 4:05 p.m. — San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox.

• 6:15 p.m. — Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres.