There have been some failures in the Bronx. New York Yankees starter James Paxton is working to make sure he’s not one of them.
Yankee Stadium is by far one of the toughest ballparks to pitch in. Sometimes it’s even tougher when you’re pitching in the pinstripes. Just ask former New York Yankees hurlers Sonny Gray, A.J. Burnett and numerous others.
James Paxton may be new in the Bronx but he’s definitely not ready to become just another name passing through.
The “Yankees Curse” is alive and well but James Paxton is working to make sure he doesn’t fall victim to it himself. After all, he knows exactly what Sonny Gray went through from the moment he stepped into the pinstripes.
“I watched it happen,” Paxton told reporters Wednesday afternoon, as reported by Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. “I don’t have a whole lot of information on how it all went down for him. I don’t know him. I don’t know what it was, but I’m just trying the best I can — talk to guys who had success here, what they did to help [beat] it. I’m just learning from my teammates to help prepare for that.”
So it wasn’t just the Yankee Faithful that got to watch Gray implode. Clearly, Paxton was studying up the whole season to make sure that if he went to the Bronx, it wouldn’t happen to him.
Of course, there are learning curves when coming to Yankee Stadium. Pitchers have to learn how to work around the short porch, a huge advantage to left-handed batters. But it seems like Paxton is doing all the right things to prepare for his first season in pinstripes.
One current Yankees player, fellow southpaw CC Sabathia, believes that James Paxton will get through it, saying “I think Pax will be fine.”
Paxton, a pitcher entering his seventh season in the league, has spent all his time in Seattle, where run support was at a minimum. Paxton wasn’t always the ace of the staff but he had some nasty stuff to put hitters away.
Let’s hope that this second starter from the AL West won’t come over and implode like the last one. However, if it were up to Paxton, this story will most definitely have a different ending.