It will be right-hander Nathan Karns at the back end of the Mariners’ rotation when the regular season opens early next month.
The Mariners optioned left-hander James Paxton to Triple-A Tacoma on Monday morning, one day after he squandered a six-run in a 12-9 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
“I’m not happy, obviously,” said Paxton, who pitched in college at the University of Kentucky. “I’m not where I want to be, but the fault is all on me. I didn’t have the best spring, result-wise. I didn’t do what they wanted to see. So I’m going to do down and work on some stuff, and I’ll be back.”
Paxton gave up 19 runs (18 earned) and 25 hits in 15 innings over five Cactus League starts. He also walked eight and struck out just six.
“He has not had a great spring,” manager Scott Servais said. “He’ll be the first to admit (that)…He just didn’t get the results, and it is a result-driven league.”
Karns wasn’t a lot better. Entering his start Monday against Kansas City, he had allowed 15 runs (12 earned) and 21 hits in 16 innings over five starts. He had 12 strikeouts and seven walks.
“Talking through it with the coaching staff and front-office staff,” Servais said, “that’s the decision we made. And that’s what we’re going with.”