Rain wipes out Mariners' only scheduled intrasquad game
Paxton, Iwakuma limited because of weather, but still throw
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rainy weather played a little havoc with the Mariners' plans for Monday, wiping out their only scheduled intrasquad game and putting a slight hiccup in some of the pitching plans. Manager Lloyd McClendon said he wasn't concerned about Mother Nature's interference.
Left-hander James Paxton had to limit his throwing distance on his first day back from a bruised forearm that sidelined him the first 10 days of camp and Hisashi Iwakuma was limited to another bullpen session instead of his first live batting practice of the spring.
McClendon said the Mariners still got their needed work in as they took to the hitting cages and covered bullpen area. And with the sun expected to return Tuesday and blue skies forecast for the Cactus League opener Wednesday and beyond, it's full speed ahead.
Paxton might have been impacted more than anyone since the original plan was to extend his throwing out on the outfield grass, but instead he kept it shorter in the cage due to the inclement conditions.
"I didn't get too far today, but everything felt great. No pain at all," said the big left-hander. "I played a little catch, got loose and everything felt good. Tomorrow I'll probably go out to about 90-110 feet and just build it up and keep on going here."
Paxton, who is expected to be a key member of the rotation this season, hurt his arm when he braced himself after falling during conditioning drills prior to the start of camp. He said the plan at this point is to take a day off Wednesday, throw again Thursday and then get up on the mound for his first bullpen session Friday.
The 26-year-old said there is no doubt in his mind that he'll be fully ready when the regular season starts.
"Absolutely," he said. "I feel confident I'll have plenty of time to get myself ready for those games in April."
Iwakuma, J.A. Happ and Danny Farquhar all were scheduled to throw live batting practice Monday, but instead tossed in the bullpen with batters standing at the plate without swinging. For Iwakuma, that was to have been his first live batting practice as he's been brought along a little slower than most, but he said the change wasn't a big issue.
"It's unfortunate, but the weather is something you can't control," he said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. "I think I got the most out of what we could do today."
Iwakuma, who normally has pinpoint control, caught Gabby Guerrero flush in the back with one pitch during his session and sent the young outfield prospect dancing away in pain.
"That was a split-finger that slipped out of my hand. I felt kind of bad," Iwakuma said with a smile.
Iwakuma won't throw again until his first scheduled Cactus League start on Saturday against the D-backs at Peoria Stadium.
• The Mariners will hold their final work-only day Tuesday before Wednesday's Cactus League opener against the Padres in the annual charity game at 1:05 p.m. MT at Peoria Stadium. But even after games begin, the club will continue working out each morning. Fans can come watch those sessions from about 9:30 a.m. to noon each day.