When James Paxton departed yesterday’s game, Yankees fans hoped it was just precautionary. An MRI, however, revealed left knee inflammation, and Big Maple is heading to the 10-day injured list. As a corresponding move, the Yankees have recalled right-hander Jake Barrett from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Paxton exited the game after allowing one run over three innings, having tossed 64 pitches. He had a 12-pitch first inning, but things got laborious after that. An error on a double play ball by Gleyber Torres extended the third inning, forcing Paxton to throw 33 pitches on the frame.
He struggled locating the ball, issuing three walks while recording just one strikeout.
Paxton, 30, has helped anchor the rotation for the Yankees. He owns a 3.11 ERA (2.51 FIP) with an excellent strikeout rate (12.42 K/9). The rest of his peripherals have also been encouraging. When batters make contact, they hit the ball well. They just don’t get that many chances to do so because of his fastball quality.
Barrett, meanwhile, joined the Yankees organization after being claimed off waivers from the Pirates on April 4. He has made eight appearances for the RailRiders, pitching to a 1.50 ERA (2.12 FIP) over 12 innings. The right-hander works primarily with a fastball and slider, with his four-seamer averaging 94.78 mph last year.
The Yankees currently have 13 players on the injured list, including staff ace Luis Severino. Jonathan Loasiga makes sense as the in-house replacement when Paxton’s turn next comes up. A free agent like Dallas Keuchel will draw the attention of the media and fans, but he won’t realistically be ready to step into the rotation anytime soon.
Here’s hoping that Paxton needs only the 10 days to recover.