Due to his most recent setback, it seems unlikely that James Paxton will return to the New York Yankees this season.
The New York Yankees had been counting on James Paxton to be a key part of their rotation this season. He had performed well in his first year in New York, although his past injury issues reared their ugly head once again. This year, however, had been a different story, as Paxton struggled before landing on the Injured List with a flexor strain.
The hope was that Paxton would be back soon. Instead, he suffered a setback after a throwing session on Wednesday, feeling soreness after his outing.
Paxton had not exactly performed well prior to landing on the IL. He had produced a 6.64 ERA and a 1.475 WHiP in his 20.1 innings, issuing seven walks while striking out 26 batters, another disappointment in what has been a difficult season for the Yankees.
Interestingly, manager Aaron Boone did not count Paxton out for this season. There is some hope that he could return in a relief capacity. However, with just two weeks left in the season, and Paxton being shut down for a few days until the soreness subsides, this appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking.
One can understand why Boone is holding out hope. The Yankees have been in a freefall of late, posting a 6-15 record over their past 21 games. They have fallen to third in the AL East, and are currently clinging to one of the final playoff spots. A healthy Paxton, even as a reliever, could help.
But that just does not seem possible. Unless Paxton can ramp back up in a short amount of time, he is not likely to return during the regular season. At best, the Yankees could hope that he returns for the playoffs, but they have to worry about getting in first.
Getting James Paxton back would help. But that is not something the New York Yankees should count on.