James Paxton
AP Photo

The New York Yankees are further enthused by the progress of James Paxton, who has been out since May 3 with an MCL injury.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The New York Yankees may soon get some relief from a starting pitcher. According to manager Aaron Boone, James Paxton went through this week’s second bullpen session without incident on Friday afternoon, prior to the Yankees’ battle for AL East supremacy against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“He warmed up, then sat down, then got up and pitched an inning, sat down and then warmed back up, just to get the up-down thing going,” Boone said, per James Kratch of NJ Advance Media. “It was another positive step. The next thing will be how he comes in tomorrow. He would throw potentially another side (session) Sunday, and if that goes well, there’s a chance we’ll possibly insert him somewhere on the road trip.”

Paxton also threw in a bullpen session on Tuesday. George A. King III and Dan Martin of the New York Post spoke with the left-hander, who was likewise pleased.

“I was thinking I might wake up with some soreness, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was good news,” he said after his Tuesday session. “So far, everything’s been great. It’s a step in the right direction.”

Paxton was added to the Yankees (26-16) in November via a trade with the Seattle Mariners. The British Columbia native tallied a 3.11 ERA over seven starts, good for a 3-2 record. Prior to suffering the MCL injury in a win over Minnesota, he had struck out 32 batters over his preceding trio of starts.

Boone did mention that Paxton will not take the open slot for Sunday’s series finale against the Rays (26-15). Following this Tampa series, the Yankees embark on a seven-game road trip, the one Boone was referring to in his Friday statements. Four games in Baltimore will precede a three-game set against the Royals in Kansas City.

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