While New York Yankees‘ starting pitcher, James Paxton, got off to a rocky start in his first spring training appearance, he brings great value to a team that struggled with their rotation in 2018.
Paxton finished the day striking out and walking two batters apiece in two innings. He didn’t allow any runs but the walks were worrisome as his location seemed to be a bit off. I wouldn’t light the beacon of worry just yet, as it was only his first live action as a Yankee.
The New York Yankees pitcher stated after the game:
“My goal was to throw a lot of strikes and I didn’t do that in the first inning,’’ said Paxton, who was sent over from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Justus Sheffield. “I wanted to come out and pound the strike zone and I did a better job of that in the second inning. You want to feel where your body is at, and I feel I made the adjustment from the first to the second inning.’’
One of Paxton’s premier pitches it his curveball, which just didn’t seem to have enough bite on it. He stated, “the sharpness isn’t quite there yet.”
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) February 25, 2019
Last season, the Mariners ace finished with a 3.67 ERA and a 11-6 record. There’s no question that he brings quality to the starting rotation, as he will likely act as the No. 3 or 4. Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka will battle it out between the two slots.
Tanaka finished 2017 with a 3.75 ERA and a 12-6 record, just a worse than Paxton in the efficiency column. It will be interesting to see the two showcase their abilities, but I would expect Tanaka to earn the No. 3 role out of seniority.