James Paxton was taken out of his start Friday night in Arlington after just one inning, having thrown 21 pitches. Ben Heller replaced the Yankees’ lefty on the mound in a move that was decidedly not according to plan.
As detailed on the YES broadcast, Aaron Boone was hoping to get about four innings out of Paxton in his last start before presumably working the first game of the ALDS next week. The team was treating this as a tuneup ahead of Paxton’s first ever postseason start, but now the structure of the playoff rotation is thrown into confusion.
Michael Kay opined that Paxton looked uncomfortable, especially in the dugout, even though his stuff looked solid enough. He had three swinging strikes on 21 pitches, and he touched 95 with his fastball, which sure sounds like a healthy Paxton. He of course has battled a knee issue on and off in 2019, and now we’ll have to wait and see whether this is a precautionary move or not.
Keep your eyes on this story as PSA will update as we know more.
Per the team, Paxton was pulled due to a tight left glute. This seems to be a precautionary move, which bodes well for the team, and obviously it’s good news that the knee is not the trouble spot. Still, having to leave a game for any kind of injury isn’t a good thing, and we’ve certainly seen this year how quickly seemingly minor bumps and bruises can get serious.