James Paxton Suffers Injury In Red Sox Spring Training Start

The left-hander tweaked his hamstring and exited the game


Mar 3, 2023

James Paxton took the ball Friday as the Boston Red Sox faced the Minnesota Twins in Grapefruit League action, but the left-hander failed to make it through his first spring training start of 2023.

Paxton exited the game in the second inning after tweaking his hamstring. It’s unclear what impact the injury will have on the pitcher as he prepares for the upcoming Major League Baseball campaign.

Paxton was slated to pitch two innings Friday.

“Hamstring just grabbed on me a little bit,” Paxton told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. “Just as I was starting to find that firing pin, let the ball go a little bit harder, I went to step on it a little bit and the hamstring just grabbed. So, we’ll see what we got. We don’t really know yet. But we’ll see how I come in feeling (Saturday), and just go from there.”

Paxton has made just six MLB starts totaling 21 2/3 innings since the beginning of 2020. He underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2021 and spent most of 2022 rehabbing after signing with the Red Sox in free agency. But his attempt to return down the stretch last season came to an abrupt halt in August when he suffered a Grade 2 lat tear during a rehab outing in the Florida Complex League.

Paxton back in November exercised his $4 million player option for 2023 (after Boston declined a two-year, $26 million club option), and all signs pointed toward the 34-year-old being healthy upon reporting to spring training. Red Sox manager Alex Cora recently praised Paxton as being a standout performer in camp, operating with no physical restrictions after years of battling injuries.

“This is not how I wanted this to go,” Paxton told reporters after leaving Friday’s game. “I wanted to go through spring training clean. But I can’t control that. All I can control is going to work on this now and doing whatever I can to get back out there and pitch again.”

Perhaps this latest setback proves minor. But it’s still a disappointing development for Paxton, who’s been mostly excellent in his career when healthy. It also speaks to the delicate nature of Boston’s rotation, which is littered with question marks in addition to its upside.

The good news? Paxton was sharp before leaving Friday’s contest with two outs in the second inning. He retired the side in order in the first inning, even striking out Carlos Correa, and showed good life on his fastball, topping out at 94.7 mph.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer
Previous Article

Mets Ace Max Scherzer Attempts To Test Limits Of MLB Pitch Clock

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers
Next Article

AL East Betting Preview: Buying Both Red Sox, Yankees In 2023?

Picked For You