Mariners’ “best-case scenario” for James Paxton’s return is August

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Mariners left-hander James Paxton has been on the disabled list since late May with a strained middle finger and it sounds like he’s not close to returning.

Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that Paxton has yet to begin a throwing program–which means he’d likely need lots of time to build back his arm strength and pitch count–and “even a best-case scenario suggests a return before August is optimistic.”

Paxton has had trouble staying off the disabled list since debuting for the Mariners in 2013, but the 26-year-old former top prospect has pitched well when healthy with a 3.05 ERA in 27 career starts.