Red Sox Oft-Injured Starter Pulled Early From 1st Spring Start

It's been two full years since James Paxton has been able to pitch in a major league game, as injuries have ravaged his career the past three seasons. So when he felt something in his hamstring during the second inning of his first spring start today with the Boston Red Sox, he was immediately pulled from the game. 

Turns out it was a tweak in his right hamstring.  

"This is not how I wanted this to go. I wanted to go through spring training clean... Hamstring just grabbed on me a little bit... Don't really know yet (the severity)... We're gonna have to deal with this, and I'll do whatever I have to do to get back out there," said Paxton. It's unclear yet if it's a strain, but he's hoping it's something minor.

Hopefully this isn't reminiscent of his first start of the 2021 season with the Seattle Mariners, when he left after just 21 pitches, his arm in extreme pain. He wound up needing Tommy John surgery, which cost him all of '21 and 2022. He also had numerous other setbacks unrelated to his elbow.

The 34-year-old southpaw had captured manager Alex Cora's attention at camp thus far, as it was only three days ago that Cora said that Paxton seemed to have 'jumped off the page' to him. 

During the peak of his career, 2017-2019, Paxton averaged 11.1 K/9 against only 2.7 BB/9, with a 3.69 ERA, while going 38-17 for the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.

Here's hoping this is just a very minor setback for the hard-luck lefty. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports