Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Assistant Pitching Coach Believes James Paxton Has ‘Some of the Best Stuff in Baseball’

When the Seattle Mariners drafted James Paxton in 2009, they considered him part of a trio of pitchers that would define the next era of Mariner baseball. Unfortunately, a lengthy injury history dulled the impact Paxton could have made in Seattle. Now, with the Dodgers, he looks like the pitcher the Mariners initially drafted.

The Dodgers signed Paxton to a one-year $4 million contract with incentives that could bring that value to $13 million total. Both Los Angeles and Paxton are betting that they can tap into his talent going into his age-35 season.

Dodgers pitching coach Connor McGuiness sees Paxton’s potential. He recently spoke to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times with promising words regarding Paxton’s repertoire.

The upside is massive. I think it’s no secret that he’s got a little bit of injury history … but when he’s out there and healthy and doing his thing, I mean, he’s got some of the best stuff in baseball, especially when he’s running his fastball up to 96-97 miles per hour.

Connor McGuiness to the Los Angeles Times

Paxton has only pitched in 117.2 innings since the 2020 season. He made one start in 2021 before being placed on the injured list with a left forearm strain. The southpaw eventually had Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022.

He threw 93.0 innings in a 2023 season that right knee inflammation cut short in September. That season he had a 4.50 ERA but showed flashes of his talent. On June 30 he threw 7.2 innings of shut-out baseball and struck out seven batters in a 5-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

So far, he’s made one start this spring training with the Dodgers. He gave up one earned run in 2.0 innings, but he managed to strike out four batters in the process.

The pitches speak for themselves. He has good enough stuff to be a real contributor to an elite Dodgers pitching staff. If he can stay healthy, Los Angeles will heavily rely on him to anchor the back of the rotation this season.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, livestreams, and more!

Kevin Skinner

Graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Biology and Philosophy. Despite growing up in San Diego, loves all thing Los Angeles sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button