Yankees Injury Report: James Paxton nearing his return to the rotation


Yankees left-hander James Paxton has been on the IL with left knee inflammation since May 4th but after throwing a bullpen on Tuesday without feeling any discomfort he’s scheduled to throw a simulated game on Friday.

The Yankees continue to get good news on the injury front. Many of their injured stars are making positive strides towards their returns and it looks Paxton could be the first one to make his.

According to George King III of the New York Post Paxton was green-lighted by the Yankee training staff to throw a three-inning sim game on Friday. If that goes well there’s a chance he could return to the Yankee rotation next week when they host the Padres for a three-game set. If no than starting on Thursday the Yanks will then begin a four-game set with the third-place Red Sox so it wouldn’t surprise me if they save Paxton’s return for one of those games.

Outside of J.A. Happ, who has really struggled of late the starting staff has been very solid since Paxton went down. However, over the past week and a half, they’ve been featuring a four-man rotation because on May 13th Paxton’s replacement Jonathan Loaisiga went on the IL with an injury of his own.

The Yanks ended up getting rained out on the 13th and 14th so they were able to skip his turn in the rotation. Although this past Sunday when it came around they were forced to use Chad Green as an opener and it didn’t go well.

On Friday they might have to use an opener again or call up Chance Adams or Nestor Cortes Jr. to make the start but the next time that turn in the rotation comes around Paxton should be back. Moving forward I’m sure Aaron Boone would prefer to use an actual starter so his impending return couldn’t come at a better time.

Tanaka good to go

After Masahiro Tanaka was hit by a line drive on his right shin during his start on Saturday there was some concern that he wouldn’t be able to make his next scheduled start.

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Fortunately, the injury caused nothing more than some bruising. On Tuesday Tanaka was able to get through a bullpen of his own without any issues so he’s good to start this afternoon against the Orioles.

Tanaka has been outstanding in May posting a 2.31 ERA but he’s been especially great over his last three starts allowing only three runs over 20.1 IP. With Paxton and Luis Severino down the Yankees desperately needed Tanaka to step up and pitch like a front of the rotation guy and he’s delivered.

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Right now the Yankees feature one of the best duos in baseball at the top of their rotation in Tanaka and Domingo German. Once Paxton and Severino get back this starting staff will be even more loaded. We’re still a ways away from that becoming a reality because of Sevy but as guys continue to make their returns off the IL this Yankee team is only going to get more dangerous.