Since the Yankees didn’t acquire a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, they need left-hander James Paxton to step-up big time.
James Paxton has been a subpar pitcher compared to his prior years in Seattle. He has a 4.72 ERA (career-high), 4.29 FIP (career-high) and a 1.71 HR/9. Obviously, things are not clicking for Paxton with the Yankees. Why is this?
For starters, as we saw with RHP Sonny Gray, New York is not for everyone. Gray was an all-star caliber pitcher until he came to NY, where it seemed like he forgot to pitch. This year in a smaller market in Cincinnati, he was a part of the 2019 NL All-Star team. The same thing could be happening with Paxton
His curveball. His spin rate on his curveball has been terrible, according to baseball savant. This pitch was used quite often for his success in Seattle. It’s quite similar to what has happened with Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter. It seems like they forgot how to throw their “best pitch.” If Paxton cannot fins his curveball you can guarantee he will not be as dominant as in prior years.
Paxton currently owns a .371 BABIP against which shows that he is rather unlucky and that this may not be his season. If you watch, he generally gives up some hard contact but a good deal of his hits given up are bloop hits, or soft contact.
James Paxton has always been injury-prone. With a couple of stints on the IL (injured list) already this year, it is kind of obvious when watching him on the mound, that he is hiding an injury. Paxton’s Velocity has been inconsistent, which has lead to his outings be inconsistent. If Paxton wants to get back to the Cy Young caliber pitcher he was, he needs to address whatever injury he has.
Ultimately, Paxton is a good pitcher with good stuff and needs to be given more leeway as opposed to the Yankees other starters, because as I previously mentioned, he is certainly hiding an injury. This is not the pitcher Paxton truly is, or what he will truly be.