Red Sox

James Paxton pulled from first rehab start, reportedly due to lat tightness

Paxton has not pitched since his one start in 2021 with the Mariners.

James Paxton
James Paxton #44 of the Seattle Mariners waves to fans before the game against the Kansas City Royals at T-Mobile Park on August 29, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Red Sox starter James Paxton made his first rehab start in the Florida Complex League on Thursday, but it ended earlier than the Red Sox would have liked.

According to SoxProspects on Twitter, Paxton — who signed with the Red Sox this past offseason — retired two batters, but then exited the game. Alex Cora later confirmed multiple reports that Paxton suffered lat tightness.

Paxton pitched just five games in 2020 with the Yankees after suffering a flexor strain in his pitching arm (the left). He pitched just 1.1 innings last season with the Mariners before being pulled on April 6. A week later, Paxton underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.


“Hoping for a speedy recovery there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said at the time. “He’s got a lot of work ahead of him there, and he knows that.”

The work continues now. Per Cora, the Red Sox are waiting on further reports about Paxton’s condition, but Thursday’s news was unquestionably a setback.

Paxton’s contract with the Red Sox will be interesting to monitor. He signed a one-year deal worth $6 million. After that, the Red Sox have a two-year team option worth $26 million. If they decline that, Paxton has a one-year $4 million player option. In other words, both the Red Sox and the injury-prone lefty looked to protect themselves long-term with their deal this offseason.

Cora told reporters that Brayan Bello will make a rehab start with the Worcester Red Sox on Friday.


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