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Paxton ill, may miss Friday's start vs. Angels

Lefty not traveling with team; Mariners to monitor Gonzales' innings
September 12, 2018

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Scott Servais erased James Paxton's name from his whiteboard prior to meeting with the media on Wednesday.Servais originally slated the big lefty for Friday's start against the Angels, but Paxton will not be traveling with the team following Wednesday's game due to a virus, putting his

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Scott Servais erased James Paxton's name from his whiteboard prior to meeting with the media on Wednesday.
Servais originally slated the big lefty for Friday's start against the Angels, but Paxton will not be traveling with the team following Wednesday's game due to a virus, putting his Friday start in jeopardy.
Servais said there's a chance Paxton could improve and join the team in Anaheim, but as of now, he doesn't have a plan for his weekend rotation.
"We're going to have to be creative," Servais said. "We do have a lot of guys in the bullpen, so you could see us doing a bullpen day, and some of the guys in the bullpen have length, they have started in the Minor Leagues or whatnot, so we'll put a plan together."
Jean Segura has also been feeling under the weather, but with a different illness, per Servais. He was out of the lineup for the second straight day on Wednesday.
"[Segura]'s going to fly with us today," Servais said. "Feeling a little bit better, but not near ready to get on the field yet."
Going without Segura was just one component of Servais' lineup that deviated from the norm. He also penciled Kristopher Negron into left field in place of Cameron Maybin, who was originally supposed to start Wednesday but wasn't in the lineup because of a sore elbow.
Servais spoke about the value of a super-utility player like Negron, who has played every position except for pitcher and catcher at the Major League level, and he also has 3 2/3 innings pitched at the Triple-A level, albeit with a 7.36 ERA.
"Our people upstairs, the front office, thought [Negron] might be a fit here going forward, so we'll take a look," Servais said. "That's why we're going to play him. He'll play in the outfield, play in the infield. We'll give him plenty of looks."
Servais also held Dee Gordon and Mike Zunino out of the lineup on Wednesday, instead starting Guillermo Heredia and David Freitas.
Marco under the microscope
Following Marco Gonzales' return from the disabled list on Tuesday, Servais said he will be very cautious with the 26-year-old left-hander through the remainder of the season. Gonzales threw 66 pitches over five innings, allowing one run and getting a no-decision in Tuesday's loss.
"I don't think you're going to see us extend him out to 100 pitches or anything like that," Servais said. "But I think it is important he continues to finish out the season, finish out the month of September. This is uncharted waters for him."
Gonzales' 150 2/3 Major League innings are getting close to the most he has ever thrown in one year during his pro career. He reached 126 1/3 innings between the Minors and Majors last season, and he threw 156 2/3 total innings in 2014. He underwent Tommy John surgery in '16.
"He hasn't pitched this deep into a season since he's come back from his injury a couple years ago," Servais said. "He's hitting these innings marks for the first time, which is really good, because down the road it's really going to help him. 'Oh, I've been there before, I've gone through that before.' And there's only one way to do it: you have to go through it."
Servais added that it was more difficult to moderate Gonzales' workload because he was pitching deep into games so consistently, particularly in June and July.
Plan for Felix uncertain
Servais did not offer an update on Felix Hernandez, who left last Saturday's game in the fifth inning with a right hamstring issue.
"We'll know more here on Felix," Servais said. "I need to sit down and kind of talk with him here in a little bit. … Trying to explain where we're headed, the plan there."

** David Gottlieb ** is reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.