Yankees News: James Paxton's Agent Says He'll Beat Injury Recovery Timetable

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2020

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton underwent microscopic lumbar discectomy Wednesday, but his agent Scott Boras believes he'll be ready to play faster than initial projections.

"We're very optimistic he'll back in the first third of the season," Boras said, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The Yankees announced a timeline to return was three to four months. 

The initial projection would have him back between May and the start of June, which would put him in line to return for the first third of the season.

His health will be important for a team that has questions in the rotation once again this season.

Paxton was the most reliable starter last season while going 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA, totaling 186 strikeouts in 150.2 innings. He's spent parts of seven seasons in the majors, mostly with the Seattle Mariners, but never had an ERA over four.

With CC Sabathia retired and Domingo German suspended 81 games for violating the league's domestic violence policy, much of last year's production will be absent to start 2020.

The Yankees fortunately added Gerrit Cole to lead the staff, while Luis Severino should be healthy after making just three regular-season starts in 2019. Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ will also join the rotation with the fifth spot likely up for grabs in spring training.

Just like last season, New York will hope to stay alive in the standings until its key players return.

Paxton is also heading into his final year before hitting free agency, giving him extra motivation to get back on the mound as soon as possible.

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