2/the advice was again injections and conservative treatment to see if surgery could be avoided, but pain lingered and Paxton underwent the surgery today. #Yankees
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 5, 2020
Well, this shit is annoying.
James Paxton will be missing the first few months of the season after undergoing a microscopic lumbar discectomy with removal of a peridiscal cyst. Not great.
The New York Yankees had one of the best offseasons in baseball.
While most teams are scrambling to hide their sign-stealing equipment or attempting to trade their star players away for no reason, the Yankees have done nothing but place themselves at the top of the American League.
At first glance, it’s easy to shrug off this Paxton injury, especially coming off the signing of Gerrit Cole.
The Yankees have Cole, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka at the top of their rotation. Some would say that they have nothing to worry about. And that’s for sure a better Top 3 than most teams can put together in a 3-game series.
But let’s not sleep on how important James Paxton was last season. In 29 starts, he went 15-6 with 11.1 SO/9 and a 3.86 FIP. He was without a doubt the most valuable starting pitcher on the team in 2019.
Removing him from the rotation for four months means that depth will be tested early. There are options to replace him but he’s a cute and very specific cherrypicked stat:
WAR/ 200 IP since 2017:
Gerrit Cole: 5.3
James Paxton: 5.3
*whispers* the Yankees could’ve had their own Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling out there.
You know who’s not as good as Paxton? Someone like Jordan Montgomery who hasn’t pitched meaningful major league baseball since 2018.
Domingo German is too busy beating the shit out of his wife in public to step into the rotation and help out.
So does this James Paxton injury ruin the New York Yankees season?
Have you seen the AL East? The Yankees start the season against the Baltimore Orioles. Gleyber Torres is going to have 20 homers by the end of April.
This franchise hasn’t valued starting pitching since they dragged Andy Pettite out of retirement by the scruff of his neck. Send out Luis Cessa every five days. Who cares? Miguel Andujar is back. The Yankees are scoring 15 runs a game.
Plus, Luis Severino is still sneaky kind of an Ace and now that opposing teams don’t have moon telescopes recording his signs in real time, the pitch tipping problem might be solved. I dare teams to try to hit that slider now that they don’t know it’s coming.
Although he is super underrated, this James Paxton injury won’t really matter that much. At the end of the day, this team is STACKED. Everyone get all the surgery you need. DJ LeMahieu is winning 100 games on his own.
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