James Paxton will rejoin the Mariners’ rotation Saturday

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On the disabled list since April with a shoulder injury, Mariners rookie James Paxton is finished with a minor-league rehab assignment and ready to rejoin the rotation.

Paxton is scheduled to start Saturday against the Orioles in what will be his first MLB game action since April 8.

Coming into the season the Mariners thought they’d be able to add promising prospects Paxton and Taijuan Walker to a rotation headlined by Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, but after two-thirds of the year Paxton and Walker have combined to make just five starts between them.

Paxton has begun his career by going 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six starts dating back to last season’s debut and the 25-year-old left-hander convinced the Mariners he was ready to return by posting a 4.35 ERA and 14/6 K/BB ratio in three rehab starts.

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Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.