James Paxton looked strong for the Red Sox in his spring training debut, but it was cut short due to injury.
The Boston pitcher tweaked his hamstring in the Red Sox’s 9-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday afternoon. Paxton told reporters after the game that he felt his hamstring grab after a pitch.
Manager Alex Cora said they’d know more Saturday and while things certainly could have been worse for Paxton, he’ll still be behind some of his teammates as spring training continues.
“It’s a strain. We’ll know how he’s reacting,” Cora told reporters, per MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “If we need imaging, we’ll do it. Right now, we don’t feel that way. He’s going to fall behind a little bit here. But worst-case scenario, you know, it’s actually a best-case scenario. It doesn’t look that bad.”
Paxton marks the second player in as many games to suffer a hamstring injury. Catcher Connor Wong was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain and his status for Opening Day is in jeopardy.
The left-handed Paxton is unlikely to make the Opening Day roster, which only adds more questions to a Red Sox rotation that is dealing with injuries to Paxton, Garrett Whitlock and Brayan Bello.
Fortunately for Paxton and the Red Sox, it doesn’t appear to be anything to be concerned about right now. But it’s just another setback for Paxton, who missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery before being shut down with a Grade 2 lat tear.
The Red Sox return to action Saturday afternoon against the Houston Astros. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET on NESN.