After finding out yesterday that left-hander James Paxton would be making his professional debut last night, there was no way I wasn’t going to tune in and do some analysis on the start. I know that Paxton is someone Mariners fans have been waiting and waiting to get more information on ever since he was drafted. Since I love my readers, I’m going to give you just that.
First, it needs to be noted that the Clinton radio feed was really rough last night. There were stretches where there was more time listening to dead air than play-by-play, so there’s some details that are hazy, particularly Paxton’s exact pitch mix. Still, there was pretty good information from the game, so let’s roll with it.
Per Conor Glassey of Baseball America, Mariners LHP James Paxton will make his professional debut tonight for the Clinton LumberKings.
Paxton, a fourth round draft pick in 2010, didn’t sign until after Spring Training began. While the reports on his spring performance were impressive, the organization decided to hold him back from a full-season assignment right off the bat in order to build his arm strength and let him tune things up before assigning him. Now he’s been deemed ready, and is headed for the Midwest League.
Whether or not Paxton starts tonight is not yet known. Tonight’s starter for the LumberKings is currently listed as Seon Gi Kim, but the move has not yet been officially announced. Even if Kim does start tonight, Paxton could be in line for several innings, as the young Korean has yet to crack 5 1/3 innings pitched in any of his starts so far this year. As soon as I have more information, including the roster move to make room for Paxton on the roster, I’ll bring it to you.
UPDATE: The move is now official. Paxton has been added to the roster and will be starting for the LumberKings tonight in place of Kim. LHP Jason Markowitz was promoted to High Desert, creating the hole that Paxton has now filled. The full text of the press release is at the end of the post.
While the season has gotten off to an inauspicious start for the Mariners’ organization, there have been several players who have gotten off to good or otherwise interesting starts anyways. Over the next few days, we’ll look at a couple players from each squad that fits that description. Today, we start with the Clinton LumberKings.
Julio Morban, OF
Stat Line: .318/.384/.439, 4 2B, 2 3B, 7 RBI, 2 SB, 6 BB, 21 K’s
The first full week of minor league action is complete, and with it comes the first edition of MFR’s weekly recaps for each club. For now, it starts simple; as things progress and time allows, the recaps will get more detailed. For now, we start with what we have. Everything should be pretty self-explanitory; if not, ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
Tacoma Rainiers (3-5)
Streak: Lost 1
Opponents: 4 @ Sacramento (OAK), 4 @ Fresno (SFG)
Notes: Continue reading
Opening Day Roster
The Clinton LumberKings are a team that, as a Low-A squad tucked away in the Midwest League, often get overlooked as an uninteresting and not terribly important team. Last season’s breakout of Nick Franklin put them back on the radar for many Mariners’ fans, and they’re looking to further up their profile by fielding what might just be the most interesting overall squad in the system right now.
Frankly, I wanted to include several more names, but I’ve been keeping to a format, so a few guys had to get left out.
Prospects To Watch:
The first of the Mariners’ minor league organizations to announce their 2011 Opening Day roster this year was the Clinton LumberKings, who won the Midwest League Western Division Title in 2010 before falling to the Lake County Captains in the MWL Championship series.
Final 2010 Record: 82-56, lost in League Championship series
2010 Batting Leaders: Nick Franklin 23 HR
Vince Catricala .302 BA, 79 RBI
2010 Pitching Leaders: Taylor Stanton 12 W
Brian Moran 1.34 ERA | Erasmo Ramirez 117 K’s