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Friday, July 25, 2014

Mariners Injury Update: James Paxton, Michael Saunders, Roenis Elias

By on 7/25/2014 06:00:00 AM

The Seattle Mariners entered a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles with a record of 53-48, third in the American League West. The Mariners are in good position heading into the final two months of the season for a wild card spot, lead by a pitching staff that leads the Major Leagues in ERA. One pitcher who could add to the pitching depth is James Paxton, who is making strides in his recovery from injury. There is also good news on Michael Saunders and Roenis Elias.

Our own Darius Austin reported on July 20 that Paxton had been progressing, is without pain and hoping to increase his pitch count to 75 by his July 27th rehab start. Paxton,  who originally injured his back on April 8, made a rehab start on May 24 before suffering shoulder soreness, which once again halted the rehab process.

An update on Paxton, as reported by Adam Lewis of, is that manager Lloyd McClendon made a public message on Paxton before he was set to take the mound for Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday.
"I just want him to get the pitch count up, come away healthy and just have a clean start, whatever the numbers are, they are. Just get to that pitch count."
Paxton threw three innings in that start and struggled a bit in a 32-pitch first inning. He lasted three innings, allowed two earned runs on three hits, with a walk and four strikeouts.  Paxton's fastball is his best pitch, but on Tuesday it was his change-up which was working the best but he was most pleased with coming out of the outing without any issues with the injury.
"I think the most important thing is being healthy and making sure that's nothing wrong. The second thing is just starting to tighten things up and get that good feel back."
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 ERA of 1.75. He's allowed only 21 hits and nine walks in 36 innings, while striking out 34. 

In other injury news, Greg Johns of reported that rookie left-handed pitcher Roenis Elias, who was removed from Monday's start after 90 pitches due to cramping, checked out fine when trainers examined his left forearm. Elias is 8-8 with a 4.41 ERA in 20 starts this season.

Michael Saunders appears to be a little ahead of schedule in his recovery from a strained oblique muscle.  He still isn't expected to return to the Mariners until mid-August, at the earliest.   Saunders is batting .276 with six home runs and 28 RBI this season.

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