BY SPNW Staff 05:02PM 04/09/2014

Paxton On 15-Day DL; Mariners Recall Luetge

The Mariners Thursday placed LHP James Paxton on the 15-day disabled list with a left latissimus dorsi muscle strain and recalled LHP Lucas Luetge from AAA Tacoma to take his place on the team’s active roster. Paxton, who started Tuesday night’s season home opener against the L.A. Angels, departed the game in distress in the sixth inning with a 4-3 lead after trailing 3-0 in the first inning.

The Mariners went on to win 5-3, improving to 5-2, enabling Paxton to move to 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA for his six-game Seattle career.

Luetge was in uniform for Wednesday night’s series-ender vs. the Los Angeles Angels (7:10 p.m.) at Safeco Field.

Luetge, 27, began the season in Tacoma, where he made one appearance, allowing two runs in his lone inning Sunday. He was 1-3 with a 4.86 ERA (20 ER, 37.0 IP) in 35 games over three stints with the Mariners last season. In two major league seasons with Seattle, Luetge is 3-5 with a 4.40 ERA (38 ER, 77.2 IP) in 98 relief appearances.

Paxton, 25, allowed three runs in 5-plus innings Tuesday. His 1.75 ERA over six career stars is the lowest by a Mariners pitcher through the first six (no relief appearances) in club history, bettering the 1.84 ERA by Felix Hernandez in 2005.

The Mariners take Thursday off before starting a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics. The Mariners then play seven on the road, at Texas and Miami, before returning to Safeco Field April 21 to face the Houston Astros.


YourThoughts

  • Edgar Martinez

    Do we have the worst luck with pitching prospects in baseball history, or what?

    • art thiel

      Same everywhere. You only care about your town team.

  • RadioGuy

    It seems to be happening everywhere. I’m old enough to remember four-man rotations with no pitch count limits or the kind of preventive things pitchers do these days, yet it seems like these guys get hurt more often than they used to (and rarely make it past the sixth or seventh when they ARE healthy).

    It wasn’t all that unusual for starters in the Seventies to toss 20 complete games. Since 1999, only James Shields has reached double figures once in either league. I know that with the added importance of setup men and closers you’re not going to see as many CGs as you used to, but holy cow! The more teams try to protect pitchers’ arms, the more they break down.

    • Edgar Martinez

      It’s about money these days. Players protecting themselves and teams protecting their investments. Back then pitchers threw until their arms fell off. There would be no way Paxton would have come out of the game if he was pitching in the 70′s.

      • RadioGuy

        I get that part, although I’d say it was about money back then, too (just not as much of it). Maybe it’s because more is known about WHY a pitcher’s arm hurts and people are subsequently more cautious? But, yeah, three of your five starters simultaneously on the DL? You have a problem.

        • Edgar Martinez

          I think a lot of it is the Doc Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela effect. Both those guys were about the best pitchers in baseball when they were first up, and both were way overused early on and ended up burning out way prematurely in their careers. Although, in our case I believe it’s just a string of bad luck, and bad mechanics. Hutzen never had any history of issues before he began minors for us, and he had solid mechanics from what I hear. Chalk that up to bad luck. Walker, I’ve heard from a few analysts, has always had some questionable mechanics, so maybe they should have helped him fix those. Paxton has had a history of various injuries, so this latest setback isn’t a huge surprise. I haven’t heard anything bad about his mechanics, but I did hear that he was studying Kershaw’s mechanics and trying to emulate them. But Kershaw is on the DL now for a back muscle strain. Sounds familiar, eh? Maybe he wasn’t the best guy to copy…

          • art thiel

            Baseball history is littered with the dead arms of pitchers. Imagine how many might have been saved with TJ surgery and better training.

            Baseball players smoked a lot too.

        • art thiel

          Just as nature abhors a vacuum, sports fans abhor a coincidence.

      • art thiel

        And there would have been a decent chance he wouldn’t have had a career that continued.