Paxton Jumps to Jackson, Kings Receive Butler

All-Star left-hander James Paxton sent to double-A Jackson as Futures Game nears

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the following transactions to the Clinton 25-man roster, effective today: left-hander James Paxton has been promoted to double-A Jackson and is replaced by left-hander Tony Butler, called up from short-A Everett.

Paxton, 22, dominated the Midwest League for 10 starts with Clinton, his first stint in affiliated baseball after the Mariners chose him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of the independent American Association. The Ladner, BC, Canada native went 3-3 with a 2.73 ERA (17 ER in 56.0 IP), struck out 80 while walking 30 and limiting opponents to a .225 average. Paxton struck out 10-plus batters on a team-best three separate occasions, including a 13-strikeout game against Quad Cities on June 16 leading up to the Midwest League All-Star Game.

Paxton was Clinton’s lone All-Star representative at the June 21 game at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, IA. He struck out West Michigan’s Hernan Perez and South Bend’s Ender Inciarte over a scoreless third inning of relief in the West Division’s 8-3 victory. Shortly afterwards, he was named to the World squad for the 2011 XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game, taking place at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ on Sunday, July 10. He was set to be just the second active LumberKing to appear in the prospect showcase, joining third-baseman John Whittleman who went 1-for-1 with a home run in the 2007 game in San Francisco.

 Butler, 24, arrives in Clinton after a three-start stint at short-A Everett where he went 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA (4 ER in 14.0 IP). He walked seven, struck out 18 and limited Northwest League opponents to a .196 average while with the AquaSox.

The 6’7” left-handed Butler was originally drafted by the Mariners in the third round of the 2006 June draft. He went 4-7 with a 4.75 ERA with Wisconsin of the Midwest League in 2007 and was included in the trade with Baltimore that brought in left-hander Erik Bedard. After an injury-plagued three seasons in the Orioles system in which he combined to go 4-9 with a 5.91 ERA, Baltimore released Butler in 2010 and he was signed by Milwaukee. He went 1-1 with an 8.62 ERA in three stops within the Brewers’ chain including another trip back to Wisconsin. Following a release by Milwaukee last year, Butler worked out for the Mariners this spring and was signed as a free agent.

Butler attended the same high school as LumberKings’ broadcaster Dave Lezotte, Oak Creek High School in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

With the move, the active Clinton roster stands at 24 players with two on the disabled list. Butler is expected to join the LumberKings (4-3, 28-49) as they take on the Quad Cities River Bandits (3-4, 43-33) tonight at Modern Woodmen Park, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM. Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at


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