James Paxton is likely headed to the Injured List, but the Yankees can breathe a sigh of relief that he doesn’t need Tommy John surgery.
The Yankees might be the most injury-riddled team in the Major Leagues at the moment. Losing James Paxton to the Injured List will only add to the team’s short-term troubles, but Brian Cashman and his front office should be pleased that Paxton’s injury isn’t more severe.
The Canadian southpaw will almost certainly miss a minimum of 10 days with what’s officially being referred to as a “strained flexor.” That might not be the best news the Yankees could have dreamed of coming from Paxton’s MRI, but it’s definitely not the worst. The number of pitchers this season who’ve left games with elbow soreness and ended up requiring Tommy John procedures was high enough to put Yankees officials on edge.
Instead of surgery, the plan now is for rest to be enough to get Paxton back on the mound. That’s important for a Yankees pitching staff that needs to perform at a high level to compensate for all the hitters missing from Aaron Boone’s lineup. Paxton struggled mightily to begin his 2020 campaign but was just starting to round into form before exiting his most recent start against Tampa Bay with elbow soreness.
The organization hasn’t offered any official comment regarding how much time Paxton will miss, but the standard recovery time for a strained flexor should be limited to a matter of weeks instead of months. Recovering that quickly should give Paxton enough time to get back on his game in time to help the Yankees down the stretch.
Manager Aaron Boone still ha a litany of injured players to deal with at the moment, but he can take comfort in the fact that Paxton should return this season.