Troubling Diagnosis Is In For Red Sox' Hard-Luck Pitcher

"This is not how I wanted this to go." Those were the words of Boston Red Sox' injury-riddled starting pitcher James Paxton after he gingerly left the field in the second inning of his first spring start yesterday. Now the diagnosis is in, and he'll likely miss the start of the season with a hamstring strain.

It's being called a Grade 1 strain, which is the least-serious level of hamstring strain. However, he will be shut down for the time being. Just hopefully not that long. 

If we need imaging, we’ll do it.  Right now, we don’t feel that way,” manager Joey Cora said.  “He’s going to fall behind a little bit here.  But worst-case scenario, you know, it’s actually a best-case scenario.  It doesn’t look that bad.”

This obviously isn't as serious as his last time on a mound—the first start of the 2021 regular season with the Seattle Mariners, when he left after just 21 pitches with pain in his elbow. He needed Tommy John surgery, which cost him all of the last two seasons, combined with other various setbacks along the way. 

But nevertheless, it's troubling that Paxton once again can't stay healthy while on the mound. 

Paxton's injury is the latest to slow the preparation of the Red Sox' rotation for the season, as  Garrett Whitlock and Brayan Bello have also both experienced some setbacks as they gear up this spring.  Whitlock is still recovering from hip surgery while Bello had some arm soreness earlier in camp. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports