By: Billy Lewis
Wednesday afternoon the Yankees PR Twitter page tweeted out a bit of troubling news.
Earlier today, LHP James Paxton underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy with removal of a peridiscal cyst. The surgery was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett in Dallas, Texas. His approximate timeline to return to Major League action is 3-4 months.
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) February 5, 2020
After an injury-riddled 2019 Yankee fans were hoping for a much cleaner 2020. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on February 13th for the Yankees. The excitement was starting to mount for Yankee fans, as they are one of the World Series favorites after the offseason acquisition of Gerrit Cole.
Wednesday’s news is a bit concerning for fans. The end wording of the tweet seems to be the most important. The PR team said his timeline to return to Major League action is 3-4 months. Hopefully, the best-case scenario Paxton can be back on the mound in the Bronx by early May.
Luckily, the Yankees are built for October. With the Red Sox trade of Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, the AL East should still run through the Bronx. Though the Rays can be formidable foes, the Yankees should be able to coast to the AL East crown.
The Yankees held on to JA Happ over the offseason because they figured his value as a security blanket is better than whatever his trade value would have been. The Yankees rotation through April will still be more than serviceable. They’ll run out:
- Gerrit Cole
- Luis Severino
- Masahiro Tanaka
- Jordan Montgomery*
Cashman said the No. 5 rotation spot will be decided between Jordan Montgomery, Michael King, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa & Deivi Garcia, calling it an “open competition.”
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 5, 2020
Though this isn’t the Yankee news we wanted to see before Spring Training starts, it shouldn’t be detrimental to the Yankees 2020 season. As long as Paxton is back by the middle of June, he’ll have plenty of time to get ready for the playoffs.