I reported on June 28 that Paxton 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.
Paxton has since had another bullpen session. As reported by Greg Johns of MLB.com, Paxton threw a 35-pitch session prior to Monday night's game. He is traveling with the team on this road trip and will throw another 45 to 50 pitch session in Chicago on Friday. At that point, he may be ready for a simulated game.
Paxton is pleased with his progress.
"Everything is going forward as planned, so far. It felt really good today. The ball was coming out well. Everything felt smooth."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.
As for Hart and Smoak, they continued their rehab assignments with Triple-A Tacoma and should be back in a few more days.
Hart, who has until July 11 to rejoin the Mariners, was batting .241 on his rehab assignment. Hart is batting .209 with five home runs and 17 RBI this season. He missed all of last year after having microfracture surgeries on both knees. Hart batted .270 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI in 2012. In his 10th Major League season, Hart has a career batting average of .273 with 159 home runs and 525 RBI.
Smoak has until July 8 to return to the Mariners and was batting .216 in ten rehab starts as he attempts to return from a quad injury. Smoak is batting .208 with seven home runs and 29 RBI in 63 games this season. He is a career .225 hitter with 74 home runs and 233 RBI in 549 games.
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