Gavin Floyd unlikely to pitch again this season

Leave a comment

After hinting at it last week, it sounds like the White Sox will indeed shut down Gavin Floyd because of shoulder soreness.
Ozzie Guillen told Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com that there’s really no sense in having him make one final start with the White Sox out of contention:

In my mind, I think we should shut it down. This is a kid that’s going to be back here next year and he’s not going to prove to anybody if he can pitch or not. I think, why are we going to take a risk when the thing is not very important? Obviously we have to talk to Gavin first to see how he feels but I think the best scenario is to shut it down. That’s the best thing for him and for the organization.

Floyd was initially scheduled to start yesterday, but Tony Pena took his place against the Angels, tossing a Quality Start in a 4-3 win.
While his 10-13 record doesn’t look very good, Floyd actually had a solid season with a 4.08 ERA and 151/58 K/BB ratio in 187.1 innings, ranking 12th among AL starters in Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) at 3.85.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

Getty Images
Leave a comment

To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.