Seattle starter James Paxton pitches to the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a Oct. 1, 2017 game in Anaheim, California. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Seattle starter James Paxton pitches to the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a Oct. 1, 2017 game in Anaheim, California. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Mariner’s Paxton is focusing on staying healthy this season

The Seattle pitcher has made changes to his lifestyle in hopes of staying on the field longer.

Associated Press

PEORIA, Ariz. — If people want to say James Paxton is a pitch away from landing on the disabled list, the Seattle Mariners lefty won’t argue with them.

Injuries to his fingers, forearm, elbow, pectoral muscle and back muscles have forced Paxton to miss significant chunks of each of the past four seasons.

“What am I going to do, go sit in a corner and cry about people telling me I’m going to get hurt?” Paxton said. “That doesn’t help me at all. I’m going to go out and try to do everything I can to get better and find a way to stay healthy.”

That includes an overhaul of his diet after learning during the offseason that cow’s milk causes inflammation in his body. Eliminating dairy hasn’t been easy, said Paxton, who spends his offseasons in Wisconsin.

“It’s all about limiting the amount of inflammation your body experiences after starts and in between them,” Paxton said. “If I can find more of those little things that can add up to me staying healthy, that’s the goal.”

Mariners manager Scott Servais understands the approach Paxton and other athletes are taking. He pointed out quarterback Tom Brady excelling in the NFL as a 40-year-old as an example of players paying more attention to their bodies, diet and training regimens in an attempt to compete at peak condition and extend a playing career.

“These guys are smart,” Servais said. “They look at this stuff. What are these athletes doing? How is he still performing at age 40? I’m sure Paxton would love to be pitching when he’s 40. If this can somehow extend the window, why not?”

For now, Paxton simply wants to hit a nice, round number.

“I’m looking to get closer to that 200-inning range,” he said. “That’s the goal for this year — don’t miss any starts and get to that 200-inning benchmark.”

If Paxton can duplicate his performance last year over an injury-free season in 2018, he’ll be recognized as one of the top pitchers in baseball.

When he was healthy in 2017, Paxton was Seattle’s best pitcher, going 12-5, with a 2.98 ERA and averaging more than a strikeout per inning. The 29-year-old threw a career-high 136 innings.

“I think I had the best results of my career last season,” he said. “If I can stay on the field for the entire year and do what I did, I think I’ll have a pretty good season.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

QBs, offenses take spotlight as Cowboys visit Seahawks

Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Dallas’ Dak Prescott have both been on top of their games this season.

Meet the 9 new members of the Snohomish County Sports HOF

The class includes legendary teams, athletes, coaches and voices from the area.

Mariners sweep Athletics in late-season doubleheader

Kyle Seager homers in both games as Seattle wins 5-1 and 12-3; the Mariners’ season ends Sunday.

Community sports roundup: Local wins senior state golf tournament

Mill Creek’s John McDonald claims the title at the Washington Super Senior Men’s Amateur tournament.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton dives with the ball, but is stopped near the goal line as the clock expires in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 35-30. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
POLL RESULTS: Every victory over the Patriots is savored

All three Seahawks regular season wins over New England received good support from voters.

Pac-12 reverses course, votes to play football this fall

The league announces that a seven-game conference-only schedule will begin on Nov. 6.

Schottenheimer enjoying view of Seahawks offense from up top

The Seattle O-coordinator has called games from the booth this season as opposed to the sideline.

Mariners lose to A’s on walk-off home run in 10th

Seattle takes the lead in the top of the 10th, but a Mark Canha homer lifts Oakland to a 3-1 win.

Storm beat Lynx to move 1 game from WNBA finals

Seattle rolls to an 89-79 win in Game 2 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Most Read