Yankees’ James Paxton Throws For The First Time Since December

Mid-May Return Is Best Case Scenario For The Lefty Starter

Brandon Contes
March 11, 2020 - 1:50 pm
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As the injury bug continues to hit the Yankees during spring training, some good news was provided Wednesday as James Paxton began throwing for the first time since his February back surgery.

According to Lindsey Adler, who covers the Yankees for The Athletic, Paxton said it was the first time he was pain-free since September. Paxton played catch, throwing the ball 25 times at 60 feet and will likely increase that distance over the course of the next week before pitching off a mound.

In early February, Paxton had surgery to remove a peridiscal cyst as well as a microscopic lumbar discectomy. Following the procedure, it was estimated Paxton would be out three-to-four months, a timeline that still appears likely having told reporters a mid-May return appears to be the best case scenario.

James Paxton
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

At the time of his surgery, the Yankees staff looked strong enough to withstand Paxton’s absence, but they’ve since lost Luis Severino to a season-ending elbow injury which required Tommy John surgery.

Severino’s injury opened a spot in the rotation for Jordan Montgomery. WFAN’s Sweeny Murti previously listed internal options for the Yankees No. 5 spot which include Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa, Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt and Michael King..

Paxton, who was dealt to the Yankees in Nov. 2018, was solid in his first season in New York, going 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA. Fifteen wins and 29 starts marked career highs for the 31-year old pitcher. Although he made 29 starts, Paxton did have a stay on the injured list last season, having dealt with injuries involving his knee and glute.

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