Thursday, February 6, 2020


Well, Spring training hasn't even started yet and the Yankees have their first injury of the season. The Yankees will be without James Paxton for the first 3-4 months of the season. Ouch.

It's not the way the Yankees want to start the season, but it is what it is, unfortunately. Yesterday, Paxton had surgery to remove a peridiscal cyst. Hopefully we get Paxton back closer to the three month estimate but I have to wonder.....did the Yankees diagnose this properly? Did they make timely decisions? Check out Joel Sherman's tweet:

So here is my thought process. I understand the conservative approach. Logically, surgery is not the first option. If other options are available, going under the knife is not the first option. The Yankees tried to treat the problem, but Paxton's body just didn't now here we are at surgery. The Yankees took the same approach with Masahiro Tanaka and avoided surgery.

But they also took the same approach with Aaron Hicks and that didn't work out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Now the only thing I have left to wonder is...could they have come to the conclusion that treatment wasn't working and opted for surgery earlier in the winter?

I think that is a fair question. Right now estimated time back for Paxton is June but that is assuming he has picked up a baseball by then and started throwing. If not, then add about another month to that to get his arm stretched out. If the Yankees knew there was residual pain still there, why not have surgery in January instead of February, days before Spring Training kicks off? We may never know.

But one thing we do understand is WHY J.A. Happ was never traded. All winter everyone was speculating when the Yankees were going to trade him. It made sense to trade him after signing Gerrit Cole to save some money. I even thought he was sure to go in January because that's how long it took to trade Sonny Gray last winter. Now we know the Yankees were waiting on Paxton to see what was going to happen. They knew Happ's role could be more important than just the fifth starter.

To top it all off, we see now why the Yankees are making big changes to their medical staff. Most of their staff was fired this winter so some of this blame can be given to them. Now we know why Tanaka got the ball for Game 1 of the ALCS, and it wasn't just because he was the "natural choice" due to his postseason was also because Paxton was recovering from the injection treatment. If Cashman said "problems arose anew a month ago," then that means January.....why the month long delay? Our time table could be may instead of June. In retrospect, now we can see why the Yankees didn't have the confidence in some of their medical staff. It's sad that Paxton has to be one of the last players effected by the old and ineffective medical staff.

Now that Paxton is out, Happ may be the best move that Brian Cashman didn't make all winter. It sucks that we will be without Paxton for an extended amount of time but we will work through it. We have a list of guys who can fill-in until then so for's back to #NextManUp.

Get well soon, Paxton!

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj 

1 comment:

  1. I understand waoting but if in December he was still lingering in pain then they should had went ahead and done surgery and shorten season time though this will open a 60 day and 40 man slot and part of his salary covered by insurance which helps towards salary allotment tax.
    Maybe it is just time to replace the medical team.


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