Paxton confirms he'll be ready to pitch when baseball returns

Mike Stobe / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New York Yankees left-hander James Paxton is healthy and will be ready to pitch whenever baseball resumes.

Paxton confirmed Friday he's been throwing regular bullpens after recovering from February back surgery.

"I think I've thrown probably 12-14 bullpens," Paxton told Meredith Marakovits on YES Network. "It's (my back) feeling really good. (My) back is a non-issue, I feel totally healthy, so I'll be ready to go as soon as the season comes about."

The 31-year-old said he's been throwing at a private facility to ensure he stays in shape during the pandemic. He added that his velocity "is getting better and better" and that everything, including the development of a new changeup, is "going really well."

"I think I'm back to full strength," Paxton said. "If a season was ready to start tomorrow or if spring training were ready to start tomorrow, I'd be ready to be just like one of the other guys and do all the regular stuff."

Paxton is a big part of the Yankees' rotation and was expected to help anchor it alongside Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka before baseball went on its hiatus.

The Canadian finished 2019 with a 15-6 record along with a 3.82 ERA and 186 strikeouts in 150 2/3 innings during his debut season with the Yankees.

Paxton confirms he'll be ready to pitch when baseball returns
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