Bob Levey/Getty Images

James Paxton exits in first inning after taking comebacker off of pitching arm

1 Comment

Mariners starter James Paxton was forced out of Tuesday night’s start against the Athletics after being hit by a Jed Lowrie line drive on his pitching arm. Paxton gave up a leadoff home run to Marcus Semien and struck out Matt Chapman prior to Lowrie’s at-bat.

Félix Hernández, recently demoted to the bullpen, relieved Paxton, walking Khris Davis before inducing an inning-ending ground ball double play from Matt Olson.

The Mariners should pass along an update on Paxton’s status shortly. The left-hander entered Tuesday’s start 10-5 with a 3.63 ERA and a 175/37 K/BB ratio in 139 innings. The third-place Mariners are very much in the hunt for the AL West title, trailing the Astros by only 4.5 games. Losing Paxton, even if only for a start or two, would be a huge blow.

Update (11:48 PM ET): Paxton has a left forearm contusion and is considered day-to-day.

MLB rejected Players’ 114-game season proposal, will not send a counter

Rob Manfred
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball has rejected the MLBPA’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter offer. The league said it has started talks with owners “about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.”

This should be understood as a game of chicken.

The background here is that the the owners are pretty much locked into the idea of paying players a prorated share of their regular salaries based on number of games played. The players, meanwhile, are pretty much locked in to the idea that the owners can set the length of the season that is played. Each side is trying to leverage their power in this regard.

The players proposed a probably unworkable number of games — 114 — as a means of setting the bidding high on a schedule that will work out well for them financially. Say, a settled agreement at about 80 games or so. The owners were rumored to be considering a counteroffer of a low number of games — say, 50 — as a means of still getting a significant pay cut from the players even if they’re being paid prorata. What Rosenthal is now reporting is that they won’t even counter with that.

Which is to say that the owners are trying to get the players to come off of their prorated salary rights under the threat of a very short schedule that would end up paying them very little. They won’t formally offer that short schedule, however, likely because (a) they believe that the threat of uncertain action is more formidable; and (b) they don’t want to be in the position of publicly demanding fewer baseball games, which doesn’t look very good to fans. They’d rather be in the position of saying “welp, the players wouldn’t talk to us about money so we have no choice, they forced us into 50 games.”

In other news, the NBA seems very close to getting its season resumed.