June 24, 2021

Spinal Surgery Knocks James Paxton Back 3-4 Months (FanGraphs)

The Yankees’ path to a second straight AL East title got a bit easier with Red Sox’s trade of Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, but they won’t emerge from this week unscathed. On Wednesday, the team announced that lefty James Paxton, their most effective starter in 2019, will be out of action for three to four months after undergoing surgery to alleviate a herniated lumbar disc. Even with the addition of Gerrit Cole to the fold, this is a loss that will test the Yankees’ depth.

The 31-year-old Paxton, whom the Yankees acquired from the Mariners in a four-player deal in November 2018, had an uneven first season in pinstripes. He surrendered 29 runs and 12 homers in the first innings of his 29 starts, and was cuffed for a 6.38 ERA and 5.84 FIP in June and July, shortly after he returned from a 25-day absence due to left knee inflammation. Even so, he was strong enough on either side of that two-month stretch that he still finished the season with 3.5 WAR, a 3.82 ERA, and 3.86 FIP (the last two both good for an 83 on their respective “minus” scales), all tops among the team’s starters; he was the only one to take a substantial workload (150.2 innings, third on the…

Read “Spinal Surgery Knocks James Paxton Back 3-4 Months” at FanGraphs