Yankees: NYY fans have no choice but to be patient with James Paxton


James Paxton had another bad outing for the Yankees on Sunday against the Red Sox.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, Yankees fans, but you don’t have a choice. You’re getting a shortened season of James Paxton and you’ll have to be patient as the left-hander looks to return to his normal self.

He’s lost velocity on his fastball and his delivery still needs work. Without that 97-98 MPH heat, his off-speed stuff pretty much morphs into meatballs for the opposition to mash, which is what we’ve seen in his first two starts of 2019.

He was knocked around last Saturday against the Washington Nationals and didn’t record more than three outs, and while he managed to log three full frames on Sunday night, he allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits. Good news? An error and a couple of lost fly balls cost him a little bit and he managed to issue no walks while striking out four.

But that doesn’t change the fact he was getting hit incredibly hard. Boston Red Sox slugger Xander Bogaerts was all over him, logging a two-run homer and a double, and the other four of Boston’s first five batters got a hit off the left-hander.

Paxton is still working to get back to full strength after undergoing back surgery, which is likely the main factor in his decreased velocity. Don’t forget he pretty much returned right on time from that procedure (he was expected to miss 3-4 months), so he’s got ways to go.

Manager Aaron Boone mentioned last weekend that the team was looking to help him finish through his pitches and rediscover his follow-through because it appeared he was letting up instead of completing his delivery. That seemed to be the case again on Sunday Night Baseball.

For example, though this fly ball should have been caught at the warning track, you can see on Paxton’s 90 MPH fastball that he pretty much remained upright after releasing it. Not only that, but he’s clearly lacking torque in his hips, which no doubt is an effect of back surgery.


Check out his torque on this 97 MPH fastball last year. It might seem a bit subtle, but you’ll notice it when you see it.

So this is life right now, Yankees fans. There’s no surefire No. 2 starter, and that won’t be the case until Paxton (and Masahiro Tanaka) continue to work out the kinks and hone/rediscover their craft. Patience is the only answer, or else you’re going to be ripping your hair out for the next few weeks.

Just sit back and enjoy the offense mashing because the bats will keep the Yanks in EVERY game regardless of how each start goes.