A report from MLB Network, likely getting the information from James Paxton’s agent, Scott Boras, said that doctors have recommended Tommy John surgery for the big lefty, which could be a reason for the multiple opinions. It would end Paxton’s season.

Reached via text, Paxton said he’d seen the report about his injury but didn’t comment about his need for Tommy John surgery. He did say the MRI was being sent to Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles for a second opinion.

Manager Scott Servais didn’t say if Paxton (left forearm strain) had a diagnoses on Thursday, just that the lefty was seeking a second opinion on his MRI.

“With Pax, he’s had one doctor look at the results and he’s getting another opinion from another doctor,” Servais said. “I don’t have a timeline or exact diagnosis yet on what it is. I just know that he wanted multiple people to take a look at it and try to figure out the best course of action and what will allow him to get back in as quick as possible. I’ll probably know more on that after the off day. I should have a better idea on kind of what it looks like in the longer term picture for Pax.”

Athletes getting multiple opinions from doctors on injuries is common. Many agents have specialists for certain injuries who they trust to make the decision for their clients.

Not all MRIs reveal bad news, but it seems to feel that way.

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The Mariners got some good news on first baseman Evan White, who likely won’t have to go on the 10-day injured list, after an MRI taken on Thursday morning in Minneapolis revealed a very mild left quadriceps strain.

“He’s going to be OK,” Servais said. “Today, you probably won’t see him out there running around too much. We will evaluate how he feels after the off day (Friday). He’s getting tons of treatment this morning. He will throughout the course of the day and tomorrow as well.”

The news was also good on Jake Fraley’s left hamstring strain, which was also considered mild. He and Paxton were placed on the 10-day injured list.

“We thought it might be a little bit more severe than that,” Servais said. “No definite timeline on him. He is on the IL and he’ll be out for a little while, but better news than maybe what I was expecting based on what he had said right after he had the injury.”

The news of mild strains for White and Fraley and the hope that Paxton will be able to rehab the forearm strain and return this season is considered a positive.

“Again, MRIs … they’re never good,” Servais said. “I’ve never heard anybody come out of an MRI and say, ‘Oh, that was great.’ Anytime guys have those you always get a little bit anxious and don’t know what they’re gonna find.”

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Raised level of competition

With a return to a 162-game schedule, the Mariners now get to see the powerhouse teams outside of the West Coast. They just wrapped a difficult three-game series with the White Sox, a chic pick to win the American League Central and start a three-game series with the Twins, who made the playoffs the last two seasons, and have been projected to win 91 games by Baseball Prospectus.

When Seattle returns from this road trip, the Astros come to T-Mobile Park for three games followed by two with the Dodgers. The Mariners also have four games in Houston at the end of the month.

Servais thinks it’s beneficial for a team that features many players lacking in MLB experience.  

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It really is. It is a challenge. There’s no question about that. And our young guys are learning a lot. You need to play at a high level every day at the big leagues to survive. If you have good process in controlling the strike zone, you will be in the game. And that’s the goal.

“We stay in the game. We fight, we claw, we do whatever we can, and hopefully good things will happen at the end of the game, which they have in couple of our ballgames. I give a ton credit to our team. We don’t quit. You just keep playing.”