Red Sox

James Paxton leaves first spring training start with injury

Red Sox

James Paxton lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his first spring training start before suffering another setback.

The Boston Red Sox' oft-injured left-hander took the mound for Friday's exhibition vs. the Minnesota Twins and was pulled in the second inning with right hamstring discomfort. The severity of the injury will be determined at a later time, but it's a discouraging development for a pitcher who has made only six starts since the beginning of the 2020 season.

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After his short-lived start, Paxton explained what he experienced.

“Hamstring just grabbed on me a little bit just as I was starting to find that firing pin to let the ball go a little bit harder.” Paxton said, via WEEI's Rob Bradford. I went to step on it a little bit and the hamstring just grabbed.

"We’ll see what we’ve got. We don’t really know yet. We’ll see how I come in feeling tomorrow and go from there.”

Paxton has been plagued by injuries since 2020, when he made only five starts for the New York Yankees due to a flexor strain in his forearm. In 2021 with the Seattle Mariners, the 34-year-old lasted only 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the season because of a forearm issue and later underwent Tommy John surgery.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Paxton signed with the Red Sox with the expectation he would return from Tommy John sometime after the All-Star break. But in August, he suffered a lat tear in his first rehab outing and ended up missing the entire campaign.


Now in 2023, Paxton is looking to earn a spot in Boston's starting rotation after exercising his $ 4 million player option. Even if his latest injury proves to be a false alarm, the Red Sox surely will be extra cautious with the veteran southpaw heading into the regular season.

Paxton looked sharp during his brief start on Friday. He pitched a 1-2-3 first inning and struck out Twins star Carlos Correa, then retired the first two hitters in the second.