James Paxton

#65 SP / N.Y. Yankees / EXP: 7YRS Height: 6-4 Weight: 227 lb Age: 31 College: Kentucky Bats/Throws L/L

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    • Paxton will be ready to go when the 2020 season begins and is working on increasing the spin rate on his fastball, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. Paxton indicated that he has thrown 12-14 bullpen sessions since beginning his recovery from February back surgery and confirmed that he will be "ready to go as soon as the season comes about." Some of Paxton's bullpens have included simulated innings with batters standing in so that the southpaw can gain a feel for the strike zone, according to Ackert. Paxton also indicated that he is experimenting with his fastball grip in an effort to increase his spin rate. With the back issue now behind him, Paxton should slot into the No. 2 or No. 3 spot in the Yankees' Opening Day rotation.

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    • Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed Thursday that Paxton (back) has been throwing simulated innings this month, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. Cashman's comments essentially align with what manager Aaron Boone said last week regarding where Paxton stands in his recovery from a February procedure to remove a peridiscal cyst on his back. Boone suggested that Paxton would be fully recovered from the procedure by mid-May, so the lefty may only need to complete another simulated game or two before doctors give him full clearance. Assuming Paxton avoids any further setbacks between now and the time the season begins, he'll likely be lined up to start the Yankees' second or third game behind ace Gerrit Cole.

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    • Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that Paxton (back) is expected to be fully recovered from his microscopic lumbar discectomy by "mid-May." Paxton had already been making rapid progress during spring training after requiring the procedure in early February to remove a peridiscal cyst, and MLB's ongoing hiatus has only provided more time for him to heal up without having to miss any game action. After checking out fine following five bullpen sessions, Paxton was cleared to pitch a simulated game Monday, which likely marks one of the final checkpoints he'll need to clear in the recovery process. He should be a part of the Yankees' Opening Day rotation and face no workload restrictions whenever the season resumes.

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    • Paxton (back) recently completed his fifth bullpen session since resuming a throwing program in March, Brendan Kuty of NorthJersey.com reports. Yankees manager Aaron Boone provided a positive update about Paxton on Thursday, indicating that he's "really encouraged" by the southpaw's progress and that the recovery process from February back surgery has "gone pretty smoothly." Paxton remains on track to be ready to pitch in games by late May or early June barring any setbacks.

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    • Paxton (back) is expected to be able to pitch "right away" if there is a 2020 season, Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com reports. Paxton has been following a throwing program at home throughout MLB's hiatus, and the delayed start to the campaign has likely wiped away the portion of the regular season that was originally slated to be a recovery period for the left-hander. Though Paxton has not yet been deemed fully recovered, he appears to be a strong bet for the No. 2 spot in the Yankees' rotation come Opening Day.

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    Stats

    YearTeamAPPGSINNWLSKBBIHAERAWHIP
    2019 NYY 29 29 150.7 15 6 0 186 55 138 3.82 1.28
    2018 SEA 28 28 160.3 11 6 0 208 42 134 3.76 1.09
    TOTAL 131 131 733.0 56 32 0 803 223 661 3.49 1.20

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