James Paxton injury updates have become very familiar to Seattle Mariners fans. This latest Paxton injury will shock Mariners fans, though, as it appeared that the tall left-handed starting pitcher was about to shed his reputation of being “oft-injured.” Now, the bad news has come in that Paxton is heading to the 10-day disabled list, joining Mariners starting pitchers Felix Hernandez and Drew Smyly on the shelf.
A report by Shannon Dryer confirmed the bad news, as Paxton suffered a left forearm strain during practice. Relief pitcher Evan Marshall was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma to take his spot on the pitching staff, but no announcement has been made about who will start instead of Paxton. The worst news about this James Paxton injury update is that there is currently no timetable for his return.
Not only was Paxton the best starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners this season, but he was getting noticed on the national stage. There was even talk that he could be in the running for the American League Cy Young Award. The biggest question was whether or not he could stay healthy, and this latest piece of news is not good in that regard. Now, the Mariners will have to find someone to hold his place in the starting rotation and hope he isn’t lost to something far worse.
Through six starts this season, James Paxton’s stats were among the best in baseball. He has a 1.43 ERA, 0.982 WHIP, and a 3-0 record to his credit. Paxton also hasn’t given up a home run in 37 2/3 innings of work, making it the best number in Major League Baseball this season. Finding more efficiency with his pitches, Paxton is also averaging 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
In what has been a very difficult start to the season for the Mariners, Paxton has been the one starting pitcher that the team could count on every time he took the mound. Now he joins Felix Hernandez, who is out 3-4 weeks with right shoulder bursitis, and Drew Smyly, who is on the 60-day DL with a flexor tendon strain. Hisashi Iwakuma and Ariel Miranda each got hit by line drives while on the mound this week, bringing the total number of injured Mariners starting pitchers to five this season.
Are the Seattle Mariners cursed? Coming into the 2017 MLB season, many fans felt that this was the year the team was going to turn things around and finally make it back to the playoffs. The last time the Mariners had a postseason game was during the 116-win 2001 season when Ichiro Suzuki was a rookie. Many years later, kids who were born during that run may soon graduate high school without ever seeing a Mariners postseason game.
As a team, the Mariners have not posted impressive pitching stats, and this James Paxton injury hints that there could be some rough times ahead. Through 29 games, the Mariners rank 27th in all of baseball with an ERA of 4.70 this year. The only team in the American League with a worse number are the Detroit Tigers with a 4.83 ERA so far. At least the Tigers have a winning record to show for it, though.
There are going to be a lot of Seattle Mariners rumors about what the franchise should do next and how this James Paxton injury is going to affect the long-term plans for the franchise. It’s also going to have a huge impact on fantasy baseball owners who have been heavily investing in Paxton thanks to his early success in 2017. A stint on the disabled list is not what owners were hoping to see during the first week of May.
Many fans are already expressing a lot of worry on social media that Paxton’s injury is going to turn out to be much worse than a simple left forearm strain. Some are extremely worried that it could lead to arm surgery, ruling Paxton out for the rest of the 2017 MLB season. It’s premature to jump to that conclusion, but with how badly the Seattle Mariners have been cursed with pitching injuries over the years, it’s hard to blame the fans. For now, the team simply has to move on without James Paxton and hope that he can return soon.
[Featured Image by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images]