The last thing the New York Yankees want is to start the 2020 season with injuries. Major injuries at that. While no team does, it seems the Bombers can’t avoid this one.
James Paxton injury
With high hopes coming into this season, the last thing the New York Yankees need is to lose a starting pitcher for any lengthy period of time. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening already.
According to multiple reports, including USA Today MLB writer Bob Nightengale, New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton is expected to miss three to four months after having back surgery Wednesday.
Nightengale tweeted out the bad news on Wednesday afternoon.
Looking back at the offseason, it may be a good thing that the Yankees didn’t find any buyers for pitchers JA Happ and Jordan Montgomery.
With Paxton out until at least June, the Yankees will be looking for someone to step up into the No. 2 or No. 3 spot in the rotation.
“Tough blow for the Yankees. LHP starter James Paxton underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy with removal of a peridiscal cyst. He will be out at least 3-4 months, the Yankees say.”
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 5, 2020
The good news is the surgery reportedly went well, and hopefully, Paxton will be able to return to the rotation as soon as possible.
The bad news is that the return date may not be until June or July.
Paxton’s spot hard to fill
James Paxton started feeling stiffness when he pitched in a game on Sept. 27 against the Texas Rangers. Paxton left that game after just one inning of work complaining of a tight left glute muscle.
By exiting in the first inning, Paxton’s career-best streak of victories came to an end at 10 consecutive starts. Although he was still battling stiffness, Paxton went 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in three very impressive starts in the 2019 postseason.
Now the Yankees have to find someone who can step up and be a solid starter behind the newly signed Gerritt Cole.
The 31-year-old Paxton finished the 2019 season with a 15-6 record to go along with his 3.82 ERA in his first season in the Yankees Pinstripes.
The Yankees will have Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and most likely J.A. Happ making up the rotation in the meantime.
The crafty left-hander is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2020 season.