Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake told reporters Wednesday that left-hander James Paxton is progressing well in his rehab from back surgery (Twitter links via Brendan Kuty of the New Jersey Star-Ledger). The left-hander went under the knife in early February, after which the Yankees announced a timetable of three to four months for his recovery. Paxton is throwing at his home in Wisconsin, and the club is optimistic about his recovery.
As notably, Blake revealed that right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga would’ve factored “heavily” into the team’s rotation picture had the season begun on time. Absent Paxton, Luis Severino and Domingo German, it was clear that left-hander Jordan Montgomery was the team’s fourth starter (behind Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ). Loaisiga was one of many candidates vying for the fifth spot — a race that also included Mike King, Deivi Garcia, Luis Cessa and perhaps non-roster invitees such as Chad Bettis and Nick Tropeano.
Loaisiga’s standing could be rendered moot with Opening Day pushed back indefinitely, as it appears increasingly likely that Paxton could be ready to suit up when (or if) the season does eventually commence. But it’s nevertheless telling that Loaisiga appears to have had a leg up on his competitors, as that could provide some insight into the organization’s contingency plans in the event of additional early-season injuries.
The 25-year-old Loaisiga has been plagued by durability issues himself, including last season, when a shoulder strain limited him to 80 2/3 innings between the minors and the big leagues. However, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus both ranked him among baseball’s 100 best prospects prior to the ’19 season. In a combined 88 2/3 minor league innings from 2017-18, he posted a 2.60 ERA with a 100-to-11 K/BB ratio.
Paxton is one of the Yankees I actually like, so that’s very encouraging news. I want him to get as much money as he deserves going into free agency next season. Good stuff.
I like the pitcher but not the injury history. I wouldn’t re sign him to a free agent deal
I wouldn’t resign him either.
I actually like him too and I’m a Red Sox fan, I would not give him a big contract though, and I wouldn’t have given Chris sale a big one either
Probably hasn’t played his last game as a yankee. If Happ got 3 years, Paxton will get at least that from Cashman I’d gather. Disconcerting that the pitchers they rely on the most will all be 30 plus next season though.
Severino will be a key part of their plans next year
Lol. He will be a key part for maybe half a year.
In the words of our POTUS, STAY HOME!
Please keep him out of here
If I’m any team whether it’s the Yankees I’m signing Paxson to a 1yr prove it deal $17-19 mil
Paxson is coming back to Seattle next year. His 2nd cousin’s Aunt posted a tweet saying it would happen.
I know you are lying because you spelled his name wrong and he is from Canada so it is Auntie.
Would be nice to get him back though. If they play this year and get some experience for the kids might be tough for him to get into the rotation. Would you pay an injury prone guy $20 mill or your future pitcher a couple hundred K?
It’s aunt in Canada.
Hahahahaha good one!!!
Depends on who the general manager is
I don’t trust that mustache
Huge Pax fan, sad to see him leave the PNW. I’m sure a lot of you have seen at least highlights of his no-hitter in Toronto. If you haven’t I’d recommend taking advantage of MLB’s free access- watch the no-hitter. The play Kyle Seager made in the 7th inn to preserve the no hitter was absolutely incredible. One of my all time favourite Mariner moments.
The previous week in the start vs OAK he actually had a better FB! Paxton fans should also try to find video of that game. I’ve never seen Paxton have a more electric Fb than the one he had that game. It was popping! 16 K-outs that night. After the game Pax acknowledged he was amazed at how it was coming out of his hand and, up until that night he’d never had a fb that good. 16 K’s!!!
I remember both of those games. The A’s one stood out to me more, they couldn’t touch his FB that night and they knew it was coming. The Big Maple… great dude.
Will all be set than injured for next year
There are a lot of wildcards that will factor into whether the Yanks try to resign Paxton.
You got Severino’s recovery for TJ (does he suffer a setback?)
Domingo German and what a potential shortened season impacts his future (will be suspended for the first 81 games of the season regardless of how many games is played)
Happ and the possibility that he could trigger the $17 million vesting option on his contract for the 20-21 season (either starting 27 games or pitching 165 innings)
Tanaka and whether they want to bring him back more than Paxton (Tanaka will also be a free agent)
Development of Deivi Garcia at AAA (does he stall or excel at the final stop before the majors)
Does Jordan Montgomery come back stronger this season and show that he can take the next step up from his rookie performance?
Do they actually make a trade for an impact starter at some point during the season because they feel they have to?
The upcoming free agency class for starting pitcher may be able to replace Paxton or at least add depth to absorb the hit of losing Paxton.
There’s no Gerrit Cole like ace but you have guys like Robbie Ray, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, Jake Arrieta and Jose Quintana. All these guys, at one time or another, were on the Yankees wish list.
There’s the famous Gerrit Cole vs Trevor Bauer antagonism from their UCLA days so you probably wont see Bauer wanting to sign with the Yankees, but Robbie Ray will be available and the Yankees have been rumored to be after him for years now on and off. Ray is 3 years younger than Paxton and could slot in well as a no.3 starter long term.
Ray and Bauer (assuming no beef) would probably be safer bets long term than giving a 32 year old Paxton a lengthy deal.
German served part of his suspension last year, before he even had a hearing. He will miss the first 63 games this year. Manfred has already stated that if there is no 2020 season, German’s suspension is finished and will not carry over into 2021. With a shortened season this year, Happ won’t trigger any vesting option. If he does well, he will get a one year offer. With everyone else, it really depends on this year’s performance.