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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mariners Injury Update: James Paxton, Michael Saunders

By on 6/28/2014 10:30:00 AM

The Seattle Mariners defeated the Cleveland Indians on Friday by the score of 3-2. The win improved the Mariners to 43-37 on the season, six and a half games behind the Oakland A's in the American League West. The Mariners got three hits from Kyle Seager and two each from Endy Chavez, Logan Morrison and Michael Saunders. For Saunders, he had just returned from the disabled list and made an immediate contribution. In other injury news, pitcher James Paxton continues to progress in his rehab from shoulder issues.

As reported by Greg Johns of, Saunders was activated prior to Friday's game and was inserted into the number seven spot in the lineup. He responded, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. It was the first game for Saunders since going on the disabled list June 11 with inflammation in his shoulder.

Saunders, in his sixth Major League season, is batting .272 with four home runs and 23 RBI, in 151 at bats.  Last season, Saunders had a batting average of .236 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI. He's a career .229 hitter with 47 home runs and 171 RBI.

As for Paxton, he's been dealing with shoulder issues since early April.  He made progress in his latest comeback effort, throwing a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday afternoon. Paxton felt everything went well with his brief session.
"The first 10 [pitches] were with the catcher on the plate. The last 15 he was back in normal position and I was throwing fastballs, four-seam, two-seam and the change-up. It all felt really good, felt really smooth. The ball was at the bottom of the zone, so it was good."
Paxton is still some bullpen sessions, simulated games and rehab starts away from being ready to return, but he's making steps in the right direction.

Paxton is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts this season. In six career starts, Paxon has a 5-0 record with an impressive ERA of 1.75. He's allowed only 21 hits and nine walks in 36 innings, while striking out 34.

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