The last thing the Yankees need at the moment is another serious injury. Aaron Boone can ill afford for James Paxton to miss significant time.
James Paxton has pitched like an ace for the Yankees this season in the absence of Luis Severino. Now it may be Big Maple’s turn to take a place on New York’s Injured List.
The talented southpaw left his start on Friday night against the Twins after just three innings. Unfortunately, he didn’t leave the game due to poor performance. He was seen exiting the field in the company of a trainer. There’s no word regarding what his injury might be at this point, but the fact that he left the field so quickly is not a good sign for the Yankees.
If Paxton is forced to miss significant time it’s going to be very difficult for the team to continue winning games at a healthy clip. Removing a starting pitcher with a 3.38 ERA in 34.2 innings would be a major blow to any team. It could be fatal for a franchise that’s already without Severino until July at the earliest.
Any significant injury to Paxton will amplify the cries from Yankees fans to jump into free agency to sign Dallas Keuchel. The former Astros star is by far the best starting pitcher left in free agency, but GM Brian Cashman would prefer to wait until after the upcoming MLB Amateur Draft to sign him. That way, the Yankees could avoid sacrificing a first round pick to bring him to the Bronx.
The most likely immediate move to cover Paxton’s absence on the staff would be to bring Chad Green back to AAA. He suffered through an ugly start to his 2019 season with the Yankees, but he seems to have fixed his mechanical issues in the minors. He can’t fill in for Paxton in the starting rotation, but he can give Boone enough depth to allow for his big left-hander missing a few turns in the rotation.
The bottom line is that the Yankees will face a very nervous wait until they learn exactly what’s wrong with Paxton. The most injured team in baseball may be set to suffer another injury blow.