James Paxton on 6-8 week program

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We won't be seeing James Paxton until late May at the earliest.

There hasn't been much news on James Paxton. He hasn't been throwing, and we've only been passed along loose information on his workouts, but there hasn't been any sort of a timeline. Until now.

It was considered a minor injury when it happened, but let this be a reminder as to how serious even little injuries are when it comes to anything in the general torso area. This timetable is from the day the injury was sustained, so that softens the blow somewhat. But it's also a projected timetable without any setbacks, and the likelihood of that happening, as we've seen time and time again, is far from a probability.

Since the injury was sustained on April 8th, a six week timeline places his return on May 20th, and a more realistic return date of eight weeks puts him back on June 3rd. Either way, it seems like Hisashi Iwakuma will join the rotation before Paxton will, and nobody knows exactly what Taijuan Walker's deal is after being shut down again. The rotation is a hot mess right now, and if I called it in shambles before Paxton's injury and Walker's setback, I don't know what it makes it now. Shredded?

It's somewhat good that the Mariners are being cautious with Paxton, but on the other hand if Roenis Elias blows up or Erasmo Ramirez continues to suck, this could keep being bad instead of getting better. Fortunately, they're about to play three games at home against an exceptionally terrible team. They can't afford to lose a bunch of games against bad opponents.

Once again, the dream of an ideal rotation remains floating in the future, further away and less probable than before. The idea of Felix, Iwakuma, Walker, Paxton, and Elias all pitching in the same rotation is still enticing, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that pessimism has swayed me believing that may not happen this year.

Pitchers, man. This kind of stuff happens, especially with young arms. The Mariners didn't secure the proper amount of talent at the position this offseason, and now they're out of options after Ramirez and Maurer. Time to survive, because another strike could send this team into a nasty downward spiral.

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