Paxton pleased with progress from first rehab start

Paxton pleased with progress from first rehab start

SEATTLE -- Mariners left-hander James Paxton reported tightness in his left triceps after throwing three innings Saturday for Triple-A Tacoma, but on Sunday said his first rehab start was a "good step" on his way back from the strained lat muscle that's sidelined him since April 8.

Paxton said he expected to feel some soreness but that it was good to face an opposing team in a competitive setting. He threw 62 pitches, then 13 more in the bullpen to build his pitch count after allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits in his first game action since getting hurt in the Mariners' home opener.

Paxton said he will throw his next bullpen Monday or Tuesday, but doesn't know when the Mariners plan to activate him off the disabled list. In the meantime, he'd like to refine his command after the El Paso Chihuahuas roughed him up for three doubles. He struck out five and walked two.

"I was trying to find my timing yesterday," said Paxton, who is ranked as the Mariners' third-best prospect. "There's still a few things I need to smooth out a little bit, but I don't think it's a very big jump to where I need to be."

Paxton, 25, is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA this season and 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in his first six career starts. Manager Lloyd McClendon said the club will re-evaluate the southpaw after his next bullpen.

"I think it's something we have to talk about more -- talk with the trainers and Lloyd and [pitching coach] Rick Waits before we make a decision," Paxton said.

Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.