Yes, Nick Franklin isn’t in there for the second straight day. Yes, Brad Miller is starting. Lloyd McClendon likes to change the line-up some. McClendon never said Franklin would play every day when he was called up. Franklin is also hitless in his last eight at-bats with five strikeouts . It’s a small sample size, but McClendon feels Franklin is pressing.
“I think his approach is good,” McClendon said. “I think he’s probably trying a little bit too hard to get it done – to get 10 hits in one at-bat so to speak. We’ve talked about it a little bit. He’ll be back in there. He’ll get his opportunity.”
McClendon said that James Paxton had some minor tightness in his tricep.
“It’s nothing very serious,” McClendon said. “It’s normal for most pitchers.”
Paxton wasn’t concerned.
“It feels as expected,” he said. “It’s kind of normal after a day of pitching, especially the first time getting on the bump after six weeks.”
And the tightness in his tricep?
“It’s pretty typical,” he said. “You expect a little soreness coming back from something like this. I think it’s pretty normal.”
Paxton is supposed to throw a bullpen in the next day or two. He’s on the same rest schedule as Brandon Maurer, who has struggled lately. Could the Mariners make a switch in the rotation after just one rehab start for Paxton?
“We’ll see how it all goes,” McClendon said.
Maurer, McClendon and pitching coach Rick Waits had a long meeting before McClendon’s media session.
When asked about what was said in that meeting, McClendon said, “That’s private.”
Paxton threw three innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 63 pitches in the game and a few more in the bullpen.
If he was asked to come back and start in five days is his command where it needs to be to be successful?
“It needs a little bit of refining,” he said. “I was trying to find my timing yesterday. I feel like it took a good step forward. But there’s still a few things I need to smooth out a little bit. I don’t think it’s a very big jump to where I need to be.”
Conversely, if the Mariners told Paxton that they want to be careful with his recovery and pitch him one or two more rehab starts, he’d have no problem with that.
“I would understand completely,” he said.
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