Some measurable progress, finally, for Mariners left-hander James Paxton in his recovery from a strained tendon on his middle finger.
Paxton is no longer throwing with tape on his finger and, barring setbacks, will throw a bullpen workout Sunday — his first time on a mound since the injury forced his exit in a May 28 game against Cleveland.
“It’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “(The tape) came off earlier this week. It’s feeling really good. The ball is coming out well, jumping a little bit. No pain when I’m throwing.”
Club officials say Paxton’s slow recovery stemmed from his injury being in a place that gets limited blood flow.
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Paxton, 26, was 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 10 starts when the injury occurred. He missed nearly four months last season because of a strained left latissimus dorsi muscle in his back.
A bullpen workout Sunday, projected at 20-25 pitches, would effectively set a tentative recovery timetable of roughly one month.
Paxton would likely throw a few bullpen workouts and possibly a simulated game before commencing a minor-league rehab assignment of at least two (and probably three) starts before rejoining the active roster.
Being able to throw, without tape on his finger, is a long-awaited step.
“We’re making progress,” he said. “That’s for sure.”
Lefty reliever Charlie Furbush will test his recovery from biceps tendinitis at least one more time by throwing a bullpen session Saturday before heading to Triple-A Tacoma on a rehab assignment.
Furbush reported no problems after throwing a 41-pitch bullpen workout before last Wednesday’s game at Colorado. He hasn’t pitched since a one-inning appearance July 7 against Detroit.
Furbush is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 33 appearances and has stranded all 16 inherited runners.
▪ Second baseman Robinson Cano said he is still battling lingering soreness from a strained abdominal muscle.
“It’s better,” he said, “but it’s not 100 percent.”
The ailment surfaced after the July 28 game against Arizona and forced Cano to miss three games.
Want a Jamie Moyer bobblehead doll? Well … make plans to arrive early Saturday at Safeco Field. The Mariners are expecting a crowd of 35,000 or so, and only 20,000 bobbleheads are being distributed.
The gates will open at 10:40 a.m. The ceremony to induct Moyer into the Mariners’ Hall of Fame starts at 12:30 p.m., and the first pitch against the Texas Rangers will come at 1:10 p.m.
Short-A Everett shortstop Drew Jackson, a fifth-round pick in June, continues to rake in the Northwest League. He was 2 for 3 with two walks Thursday in a 5-4 loss to Tri-City (Padres).
Jackson, 22, is batting .528 over the last 13 games (28 for 53) with a .597 on-base percentage and a .717 slugging percentage.
Overall, he has a .380/.434/.482 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) slash in 35 games.
It was 14 years ago — Aug. 8, 2001 — that Moyer pitched his 21st career complete game in a 12-4 victory over Toronto at Safeco Field.
Edgar Martinez paced a 19-hit attack with a homer. Ichiro Suzuki went 4 for 6 and raised his average to .337. The victory boosted the Mariners to 83-31.
Moyer finished his 25-year career with 33 complete games, including 20 in his 11 seasons with the Mariners from 1996-2006.
Nelson Cruz entered the weekend series with a 16-game hitting streak, including six consecutive multi-hit games. … Cruz also entered Friday as the major-league leader with 134 hits — one more than Texas designated hitter Prince Fielder. … The Mariners, prior to Friday, led the majors with 66 doubles since July 1. The White Sox ranked second with 62. … Ketel Marte started for a second straight game at shortstop over Brad Miller. It was also the second consecutive game in which the Mariners faced a left-handed starting pitcher. … First baseman Logan Morrison started for the first time since exiting the July 29 game against Arizona because of a bruised thumb. He had five plate appearances as a pinch hitter/defensive replacement since the injury.
The Mariners and Rangers continue their three-game series at 1:10 p.m. Saturday at Safeco Field. Seattle left-hander Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.07) will face Texas lefty Martin Perez (1-2, 6.64.)