James Paxton: Diagnosed With Flexor Strain

Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton has been diagnosed with a flexor strain in his elbow, after having an MRI yesterday. He is likely heading to the injured list.


Continuously, the Yankees have been hit with the injury bug. Paxton will likely go to the injury list. Gleyber Torres also received an MRI after yesterday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with hamstring tightness.

Impact on The Starting Rotation

With James Paxton likely heading to the IL, this leaves one rotation spot open. Again, the Yankees will have to look for another starter to fill his shoes.

Currently, the Yankees have two options. They can call up Clarke Schmidt or any player from the alternative site, or use Paxton’s day as a bullpen day. It would be a surprise to no one if Yankee manager Aaron Boone picks the latter option.

The question is: Is Schmidt ready for the big leagues? In 2019, he spent time with Double A Trenton and High A Tampa. Schmidt will likely need more time. Unsurprisingly, the Yankees will need to pick up a pitcher at the deadline once again.

Repeatedly, starting pitching for the Yankees has become an issue around the trade deadline. Whether it is injuries or a lack of consistent pitching from the rotation, it’s lingering.

The other option is having a bullpen day instead of acquiring or calling up a starter. It’s quite a risky option when the long relievers haven’t been reliable at all. Maybe someone like Michael King, Nick Nelson, or Luis Cessa will fit as an opener.

The back end of the rotation has been a liability even with Paxton there. You still have 37-year old J.A. Happ manning the back end and he has, unsurprisingly, been awful.

Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, and Jordan Montgomery have done a nice job manning the fort at the front of the rotation.

Ramp-Up Period Issues

Now, we don’t know how long Paxton has dealt with this injury. Coincidentally, pitchers around the big leagues have dropping like flies.

The ramp-up period for pitchers and hitters lasted less than a month, as they returned in the beginning of July and started the regular season at the end of the month. Pitchers didn’t have too much time to get back in shape. Spring training is usually a month or more long.

Notable pitchers like Justin Verlander, Marcus Stroman, and Stephen Strasburg have fell victim to arm injuries.

Is Major League Baseball to blame for not allowing longer ramp-up periods?



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