Paxton to begin increasing throwing program

Paxton to begin increasing throwing program

SEATTLE -- Injured Mariners left-hander James Paxton will throw again on flat ground Saturday as he continues returning from back and shoulder issues that have sidelined him since his second start of the season on April 8.

Paxton threw at a 60-foot distance for seven minutes on Thursday and will increase that to a 10-minute session Saturday. The throwing program then will begin increasing in distance before he gets back up on a mound as he rebuilds his arm strength.

"He's improving every day," said manager Lloyd McClendon. "The doctors are pleased with where he is. I'm not sure when he'll throw off the mound, but he's getting close."

Paxton, who is 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six Major League starts, said trainers are telling him not to rush things after he had to shut down following a Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma in late May when his shoulder tightened up. He initially was sidelined with a strained lat muscle, and he said both issues are being monitored now.

"Everything at the moment is feeling really well, so we'll just take it day by day," said Paxton, who has thrown twice now since being shut down.

Taijuan Walker, the Mariners' other young hurler working back from injury, is scheduled to start Saturday for Tacoma at Nashville.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.