James Paxton, CBN POW, Week III

By George Farelli
Canadian Baseball Network

There are a few ways one can go when demoted after living the major-league life.

_ Sulk ... upset at your new lot in minor-league life.

_ Get fitted for a new hat size ... since you head thinks it still belongs in the big leagues and sometimes doesn’t fit onto a bus or inside a minor-league dugout. 

_ Or you can be like Todd Stottlemyre when the Toronto Blue Jays sent him to triple-A Syracuse, take a deep breath and vow “they WILL NEVER send me back here again.”

LHP James Paxton (Ladner, BC) is still at triple-A Tacoma but if he keeps this up his days with the Rainiers might be numbered.

The Mariners went to camp with almost a set rotation of RHP Felix Hernandez, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, LHP Wade Miley and RHP Taijuan Walker. The lone battle was Nate Karns, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays, against holdover Paxton.

Karns made 26 starts for the 2015 Rays going 7-5 with a 3.67 ERA walking 56 and striking out 145 in 157 innings. Paxton made 13 starts for last year’s Mariners with a 3-4 record, a 3.90 ERA walking 29 and fanning 56 in 67 frames.
      
Paxton had two excellent starts for Tacoma this week, pitching six scoreless in a 3-1 win over El Paso Chihuahuas before 8,716 at Southwest University Park in El Paso. He allowed three hits striking out three for his first win of the season. 

Five days later he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless in a 7-1 victory over Sacramento River Cats in front of 2,455 at
Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. Paxton allowed four hits while striking out eight hitters to earn his second win of the week.

For his 11 1/3 scoreless innings, Paxton is the Canadian Baseball Network Canadian College Player of the Week for Week III, the best of the 58 Canadians playing minor league ball or in foreign lands.

Paxton combined to throw 159 pitches (107 for strikes) with 13 ground ball outs, eight fly ball outs and 11 strikeouts. 

BEST OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Player / Class / Team    AB    R    H    HR    RBI    AVG

Josh Naylor - A Greensboro    23    5    10    3    8    .435
Sean Jamieson - AAA Reno    13    1    5    1    3    .385
Brett Siddall - A Beloit    24    2    8    -    2    .333
Tyler O’Neill - AA Jackson    28    3    8    2    5    .286

Tyson Gillies - IND Sugar Land    19    2    9    -    5    .474
Michael Crouse - IND Lancaster    17    3    6    -    1    .353
Jim Adduci - KBO Lotte Giants    23    7    8    1    5    .348
(Minimum 10 AB’s required)                        

BEST PITCHING PERFORMANCES
JAMES PAXTON  LHP  -  AAA  TACOMA RAINIERS
APP   IP   H  R  ER  BB  K  W-L  SV  WHIP  WK ERA

2   11.1   7  1   -    -   11  2-0   -    0.63    0.00
Knowing full well that a strong performance at the Triple A level could lead to a recall to the Mariners roster, Paxton had two excellent starts for Tacoma this week. On April 20th in a 3-1 win over El Paso Chihuahuas he pitched six scoreless, allowing three base hits while striking out three, picking up his first win of the season. He followed that up with another strong outing on April 25 in a 7-1 victory over Sacramento River Cats, tossing 5 1/3 scoreless, giving up four hits while striking out eight Sacramento hitters, and earning his second win of the week.
 
His overall record with the Rainiers in the Triple A Pacific Coast League now stands at 2-2 with a 4.08 ERA.
 
EVAN GRILLS  LHP  -  A  LANCASTER JETHAWKS
APP   IP   H  R  ER  BB  K  W-L  SV  WHIP  WK ERA

2   10.0   5  1   1    2   7   2-0   -   0.70    1.53
Recently activated off the disabled list by the Houston Astros at class-A Lancaster in the California League, Grills confirmed that he’s feeling fine, making a pair of outstanding starts. On April 20th in a 6-3 win over Rancho Cucamonga Quakes he threw five innings, gave up one base hit and one earned run while striking out three Quakes batters for his first with of the year. He was even better on April 16th in a 5-4 win over Bakersfield Blaze pitching five scoreless innings and, despite not surrendering a hit up to that point he was lifted because of pitch count restrictions, but still picked up his second win of the week.
 
His overall record with Lancaster now stands at 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA.

ROB ZASTRYZNY  LHP  -  AA  TENNESSEE SMOKIES
APP   IP  H  R  ER  BB  K  W-L  SV  WHIP  WK ERA

1   6.0  4  1   1    3   6  1-0   -    1.17    1.50
In his first full season at the Double A level with Cubs affiliate the Tennessee Smokies, Zastryzny continues to make significant strides in establishing himself as a consistent and reliable starting pitcher. On April 22nd in a 5-4 victory over Mobile Bay Bears he pitched six innings, gave up four base hits and one earned run while striking out six Bears batters, to earn his second win of the year.

His overall record with the Smokies in the Double A Southern League, now stands at 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA.

 

ANDREW ALBERS  LHP  -  IND  LANCASTER BARNSTORMERS
APP   IP  H  R  ER  BB  K  W-L  SV  WHIP  WK ERA

1   7.0  1  -   -    1   9  1-0   -    0.29    0.00
If his first start is any indication of what lies ahead for Albers, it would seem to confirm that the Lancaster Barnstormers made a very wise move in signing this Free Agent in the off season. On April 23rd in a 3-0 win over Southern Maryland Blue Crabs he pitched seven scoreless, surrendering only one hit while striking out nine hitters, to earn his first win of the season.
 
PLAYER MOVEMENTS AND TRANSACTIONS
3B Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC ) - Activated by Chicago Cubs and assigned to Single A South Bend Cubs. 
 
RHP Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) - Placed on the disabled list by Chicago White Sox at Triple A Charlotte Knights.
 
LHP Shane Dawson (Drayton Valley, Alta.) - Placed on disabled list by Toronto Blue Jays at Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
 
LHP Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, Ont.) - Placed on the Disabled List by New York Yankees at Double A Trenton Thunder.
 
 


OF Marcus Knecht (Toronto, Ont.) - Signs as a Free Agent with Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.
 
OF John Stephens (Surrey, BC) - Signs as a Free Agent with Alpine Cowboys IND Pecos League.
 
INF Jalen Harris (Toronto, Ont.) - Acquired by Trois Rivieres Eagles IND Can Am League, in a trade with Sussex County Miners.