4 things to know about hard-throwing Red Sox lefty James Paxton – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-12-01 13:24:35 –

Red Sox

Paxton has suffered injuries during his career. But when he’s healthy, the Red Sox wants to see him bring heat for their first rotation.

James Paxton. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

The Red Sox needed some help to start the rotation after Eduardo Rodríguez left for the Detroit Tigers.

Source reports Socks to Alex Spire in Gloves Reached a $ 10 million annual transaction with PaxtonIt also includes club options for the 2023-24 season and is worth up to $ 35 million.

The 33-year-old southpaw has a 3.59 career ERA with a 57-33 record in his time at the Seattle Mariners (2013-18, 2021) and the New York Yankees (2019-20).

The fireball returned from Tommy John’s surgery in April 2021 and could start the season on the injured list, but should be pitched in 2022.

When Paxton returns, he balances the heavy right-handed rotation and joins Chris Sale as the staff’s main left-handed pitcher. But beyond that, healthy Paxton offered an intriguing upside-down in the form of an overwhelming one, which helped him strike out nearly 10 batters per 9 innings in his career.

There’s a few things you need to know about the Red Sox’s new veteran pitcher.

They call him “Big Maple”.

A quick look at Paxton’s backstory reveals how he quickly gave it the nickname.

The 6-foot-4,230-pound left-handed person is originally from British Columbia, Canada. He also played in the competitive youth league North Delta Blue Jays of the British Columbia Premier League and was a member of Team Canada’s Junior National Team as a youth.

After three years of starring at the University of Kentucky, Paxton was drafted by his native Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft. However, he refused to sign with Toronto and was forced to play in the American Independent Baseball League before the Seattle Mariners chose him for the fourth round pick in the 2010 draft.

He is (usually) a left-handed thrower.

If you need a pitcher who can bring heat, Paxton is the best choice. A left-handed player in power pitching threw a four-seam fastball at 95.8 mph during his career. According to FanGraphs..

His minimum average fastball speed for one season was 2020. That year, he underwent lumbar surgery in February to remove the cyst. Except for that year, Paxton is regularly above the 70th percentile at average fastball velocities. Per baseball savant..

The four-seamer is particularly difficult to square, as it boasts an impressive move towards and away from left-handed batters. 2020, Paxton’s 4-seam fastball Horizontal cuts averaging 14 inchesOn average, this was about 7 inches more than the rest of the league. As if a fastball that could touch 100 mph wasn’t hard enough to hit …

Then Paxton speeds up his opponent’s bat, allowing him to change speeds with 80’s middle-aged cut fastballs and devastating wipe-out breaking balls.

He threw a no-hitter no-run in Canada.

No-hitter no-run and perfect games are already magical in their own right.But of Paxton Mariners win 5-0 no hit no run May 8, 2018 was special.

A big southpaw opponent who was dispatched without hitting with only 99 balls? The Blue Jays who drafted him in 2009. Even better, Paxton did it on his home road and was the first major league pitcher in Canada.

“Big Maple” is also the second Canadian-born player after Dick Fowler made a no-hitter no-run in Philadelphia A in 1945.

He has been suffering from injuries in recent years.

If Paxton has one big caveat, it’s healthy.

While in Seattle, he regularly spent time on the disabled list due to various problems such as forearm tension, pectoral muscle tension, and back problems.

His surgery before the 2020 season, when the pandemic was delayed, required him several months of preparation time, and he only appeared five times in the New York Yankees that year after suffering from a slowdown in the fastball. did not.

Fastball speed returned to the 2021 season, but he didn’t have much opportunity to show it. He left his first start of the year against the Chicago White Sox with elbow discomfort. Within a week, Seattle announced that Paxton will undergo end-of-season Tommy John surgery at the end of April.

But when he became available, he was very well. If he can be healthy and effective in 2022, the Red Sox may be able to keep him past the end of the next season.

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