New York Yankees: Matt Blake feels “really good” about James Paxton’s progress

New York Yankees, James Paxton

Coronavirus has pushed back the start of the MLB season. The worst thing about it is that we don’t know when will that be. The New York Yankees, like every other team, are patiently waiting. However, while they wait, they are getting excellent news on the injury front.

Because of the delayed season, chances are that they will have every injured player back, except for Luis Severino, of course, who is out until 2021 with Tommy John surgery.

Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and James Paxton are all progressing nicely and are expected to be ready when the season starts, or shortly after.

According to what Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake said Wednesday to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, he feels “really good” about Paxton’s progress.

Paxton started playing catch in early March, a little over a month after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst from his spine on February 5. Initially, his timetable was about three or four months, which would have meant losing nearly all of the first half.

But as things stand right now, a hypothetical season would start in June at the earliest, and July seems like a more appropriate target given that the virus isn’t yet under control in the United States.

The delayed start of the season will benefit Paxton

While it is a sad development, it represents an advantageous position for the New York Yankees’ southpaw to be, as he has a chance (and a very good one, at that) to be ready when things get rolling again.

The southpaw was solid in 2019, his first season in pinstripes. He had a 3.82 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 186/55 K/BB ratio over 150 2/3 innings (29 starts.)

He is slated to become a free agent in 2021, and he will surely want to have a great season to leave on a high note or to increase the chances of a reunion later down the road.