Former North Delta Blue Jay James Paxton has pitched well in his first two starts of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season with the Seattle Mariners.
But a muscle strain forced him out of last night’s (Tuesday) game against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field in Seattle, and has left Mariners officials a little concerned.
The 25 year-old from Ladner gave up three earned runs on six hits, two of which were first-inning home runs on Opening Day in Seattle. He had four strikeouts, and hadn’t allowed a hit in four innings when he allowed a leadoff single in the sixth. Feeling discomfort in his left shoulder, he left the game, but was the winning pitcher in a 5-3 victory.
“It’s just a little strain,” Paxton told mlb.com. “I’m going to go get an MRI to see what exactly is going on in there, but I just want to be careful right now. My strength is still good, they said, so I just want to get it checked out.”
Paxton pitched one season for the Blue Jays in the under-18 B.C. Premier Baseball League, before accepting a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky, where he played from 2007 to 2009.
He signed with the Mariners in 2010, and began working his way through their minor league system.
He saw his first action in a Major League Baseball uniform last September, starting in three games and pitching five innings of relief in one. He was 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 24 innings of work.
He pitched his first game of the season April 2 in Anaheim, throwing seven shutout innings in an 8-2 win over the Angels. He allowed two hits and a pair of walks with nine strikeouts.