Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton came into Spring Training hoping for a resurgent 2023 season after dealing with injury trouble over the past few years. Since 2020, Paxton has pitched in a total of six games. He joined the Red Sox in 2022, but has yet to appear in a regular season game with Boston after missing all of last season. Paxton recently suffered another injury setback in Spring Training, as it was revealed that he’s been diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain and is not expected to be ready for Opening Day, per Chris Henrique.

Manager Alex Cora provided an update on Paxton’s injury, per Henrique as well.

“It’s a strain. We’ll know how he’s reacting,” The Red Sox manager said. “If we need imaging, we’ll do it. Right now, we don’t feel that way. He’s going to fall behind a little bit here. But worst case scenario, you know, it’s actually a best case scenario. It doesn’t look that bad.”

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James Paxton emerged as a reliable pitcher in Seattle with the Mariners, even emerging as a fringe star. The big left-hander finished with a 2.98 ERA in 2017, and struck out 208 hitters during the 2018 campaign. There were times when he simply overpowered batters with Seattle. The Red Sox believed he could provide them with those kind of results, but Paxton’s health hasn’t held up in Boston.

Fortunately, Cora said “it doesn’t look that bad.” Paxton will be a bounce back candidate if he can return shortly after Opening Day and impact the Red Sox in 2023.