Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 06: James Paxton #44 of the Seattle Mariners pitches in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at T-Mobile Park on April 06, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Red Sox starting rotation is about to get another boost this weekend, And it’s coming in the form of a long-awaited team debut.

On Tuesday, manager Alex Cora told reporters that lefty James Paxton will start for the team on Friday when the Sox begin a three-game series at Fenway Park against the St. Louis Cardinals. Paxton, who began the season in the IL with a hamstring injury, is expected to be activated at some point later this week with a currently-unknown corresponding move coming as well.

  • This will be Paxton’s first start with the Red Sox despite the fact he’s been with the team for almost a year and a half now. The 34-year-old first signed in Boston in December of 2021, but missed the entire 2022 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was supposed to be a part of the team’s rotation to begin this 2023 season, but that hamstring injury set him back early on.

    Paxton was also limited during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. In those two years he started five games and one game, respectively. His last full season came in 2019, when he went 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA for the New York Yankees.

    “It has been up and down. Last year, he was very close to contributing and it didn’t happen,” Cora said to reporters on Tuesday. “Obviously, in the offseason, a lot of people thought he was going to opt out and he decided to stay here. He has been working hard. It was a weird offseason, spring training, too, but happy for him that he’s going to be able to perform.”

  • With Paxton returning, the biggest question for the Red Sox becomes what changes will be made to the rotation. Paxton gives them six healthy starters, and that number will likely increase to seven soon, with Garrett Whitlock making his way back from an elbow injury. Cora didn’t dismiss the idea of a six-man rotation late last week, and acknowledged the team has some tough decisions ahead.

    Luckily for the Red Sox, they have some extra down time this week to set the rotation up the way they want. They were off on Monday, and have an off day on Thursday as well after a two-game series in Atlanta against the Braves.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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