Update 4:13 p.m.
Manager Lloyd McClendon was happy with the reports on James Paxton’s first rehab start last night in Everett. Paxton tossed 2.2 innings and allowed two runs on two hits while walking one including a home run.
“He threw the ball extremely well,” McClendon said. “The ball came out really well. He had good finish. Jack (Zduriencik) was there and I think he was very pleased.”
Paxton is flying to Anaheim today and will throw a bullpen session. He is scheduled to start again on Tuesday for the Rainiers at Cheney Stadium.
There is no set number of rehab starts for Paxton.
“We are going to be very cautious with him,” McClendon said. “I certainly don’t think we’ll rush him back by any stretch of the imagination. He’ll go through the process. I’m 75 percent sure he’ll make another start with Tacoma after (Tuesday)”
One thing is certain, Paxton won’t be facing the Mets on Tuesday at Safeco Field.
“No, he will not be facing the Mets on Tuesday,” McClendon said with a chuckle.
As you can see by the probables, Tuesday’s start is listed as “TBA.” The original plan was supposed to be Taijuan Walker making that start. But the Mariners have pushed him back a day in the rotation with the Rainiers. He’s starting tonight in Reno and won’t have enough rest to start on Tuesday. It’s possible Walker will make a few more starts with Tacoma now.
“We’ll see,” McClendon said. “We’ll see.”
If you recall, McClendon was upset with Walker’s last outing in Tacoma, saying he expected more.
So who will be starting on Tuesday?
“I haven’t figured that out yet,” McClendon said. “I would think we’ll have an answer for you by Sunday.”
Some of you conspiracy theorists believe that spot will be open for David Price or a trade, but I just will warn you that Erasmo Ramirez would be on normal rest to make that start.
The Mariners are back to having a four-player bench and seven-man bullpen with the roster move that brought Stefen Romero back from Class AAA Tacoma and sent lefty Lucas Luetge to the Rainiers.
“We had a chance to manipulate our roster a little bit and help us in that stretch,” McClendon said. “No we’re back to full strength.”
Romero figures to have the same role he had before being sent down – part time outfielder, usually getting starts against lefties and also a bat off the bench.
“I didn’t know how soon I’d be back,” Romero said. “I just tried to focus on my time in Tacoma and focused on getting better every day.”
Here’s his numbers with the Rainiers …
Manager Roy Howell played Romero every day.
“I was playing for two weeks straight,” Romero said. “That’s what Roy told me when I got there. He said you are going to be in the lineup every day in right field. If I don’t tell you otherwise, you are in there. It helps mentally. If you go 0-for-3, it helps knowing you are still in the lineup the very next day. It’s a real confidence booster. I feel like it helped out a lot.”
Romero mashed lefties during his time there. He admitted that going back to facing right-handed pitchers after serving as a platoon player was an adjustment.
“The first couple games I saw nothing but right-handed pitching,” he said. “I hadn’t seen that in a while. I think I struck out six out of eight at-bats. I got down a little. But I was back in the lineup the next day and I knew I was going to get a lot more opportunities and I was able to string together a couple great games.”
Said McClendon: “I thought if he could go down and get some consistent at-bats he’d be a better player up here coming off the bench for us. Hopefully it plays out for us.”
Obviously the trade rumors are circulating and McClendon knows it can affect players.
“Sure it can,” he said. “It’s business as usual. And that’s part of this business, which can be unfortunate. I’ve talked to my players once about it. I don’t think there’s a need to talk to them again about it. We respect everybody in our locker room. We are happy with everybody in our locker room and the contributions they’ve made to our club. This time of year those things happen. Trades are made. Speculation is talked about. You deal with it as best you can and you move on and get ready to play the game.”
Here’s the M’s numbers vs. Jered Weaver
And the Angels numbers vs. Kuma
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