Yankees fans, stop us if you’ve heard this before: James Paxton looks like he will have another season cut short by injury.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Thursday that Tommy John surgery has been recommended for Paxton, following his first start of the season where he was only able to make it through 24 pitches, recording four outs.
Paxton, now back with the Mariners, was originally diagnosed with a left forearm strain before being sent for an MRI exam earlier in the week. If he goes through with Tommy John surgery he will miss the rest of the 2021 season and likely a portion of 2022 as well.
The 32-year-old lefty has been an ace-caliber pitcher in spurts when healthy, but injuries have hampered him for much of his career. He has never surpassed 160.1 innings in a season, and missed all but five starts in 2020 with a flexor strain, his last season with the Yankees.
He returned to Seattle in the offseason, the team that drafted him in 2010, and appeared to be recovered from the injuries, throwing 17 strikeouts in 8 1/3 spring training innings. But it appears likely his 2021 season will be limited to less than two innings.