New York Yankees’ James Paxton is back: “I feel totally healthy”

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, James Paxton
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) walks to the dugout after warming up before game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When left-handed pitcher James Paxton injured his back in February, it was reported that he was expected to miss between three and four months of action, which was very bad news for the New York Yankees. Back then, coronavirus already existed in China, but wasn’t considered a global crisis and it was far-fetched to think it could play a role in postponing the start of the MLB season.

Now, three months later, the Yankees’ pitcher himself announced to Meredith Marakovirs on YES Network that he is fully healthy and ready to pitch in games whenever the season starts. The team, which suffered the loss of ace Luis Severino to Tommy John surgery and of Domingo German due to a suspension, will welcome the Big Maple with open arms.

Paxton said that he has been throwing bullpen sessions regularly in the last few weeks while recovering from February back surgery.

The Yankees’ star southpaw is ready to contribute

“I think I’ve thrown probably 12-14 bullpens,” Paxton told said. “It’s (my back) feeling really good. (My) back is a non-issue, I feel totally healthy, so I’ll be ready to go as soon as the season comes about.”

Lots of players, including most of the Yankees’ roster, have been managing to work out at their homes. Paxton explained that he has been doing his throwing at a private facility to make sure his left arm and the rest of his body stay in shape. He noted that, as far as velocity goes, he is “getting better and better” and that everything, including the development of a new changeup, is “going really well.”

“I think I’m back to full strength,” Paxton said. “If a season was ready to start tomorrow or if spring training were ready to start tomorrow, I’d be ready to be just like one of the other guys and do all the regular stuff.”

The New York Yankees sure need Paxton to stabilize the rotation and provide some quality, K-filled innings. The Canadian had a good 2019, with a 15-6 record and a 3.82 ERA in 150 2/3 frames. He punched out 186 batters.