According to Bob Dutton of The News Tribune, the Mariners are reportedly “still evaluating” Paxton, even though the 25-year-old lefty is tentatively scheduled to return to the rotation this week. Apparently Paxton is experiencing some soreness. This may just be the normal pain of being a professional athlete, but with the injury history the team is going to be a little nervous.
Meanwhile, Taijuan Walker is scheduled to make a rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma and is tentatively scheduled to join the big club in the early part of June. There are some “if” statements in there somewhere and hopefully we will not see dreaded words like “setback” and “re-evaluated” in the not-so-distant future.
Are the Mariners being overly cautious, or is this just the nature of these particular injuries? One has to assume that management is going to be concerned about rushing their young gems back to the mound. That said, you have to wonder whether this will be a recurring theme throughout the season.
You just never know with pitchers. Despite the seemingly laid-back atmosphere of baseball, pitching can put an incredible amount of stress on various parts of the body. This is why so many pitchers struggle with injuries throughout their career and why certain hurlers end up exiting baseball due to nagging physical issues.
It is difficult for fans to be patient, simply because there has been so much hype surrounding these pitchers. Paxton is already 25, which means that he is not exactly in the “prospect” category anymore in terms of age.
Walker is still only 21. However, with the massive contract that was given to Robinson Cano and the reality that Felix Hernandez is not going to be dominant forever, the time may be now to get the Prince of Taijuan on the mound.
Heal quickly, fellas. The Mariners need you and want to see what you can do.