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James Paxton throws 12-strikeout gem vs. Red Sox

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Yankees starter James Paxton wasn’t off to a great start to the 2019 season after coming to the Bronx from the Mariners in an offseason trade. Despite his first two starts coming against the lowly Orioles, Paxton carried a 6.00 ERA across 15 innings prior to Tuesday night’s start against the Red Sox. His numbers are now looking much healthier.

Paxton tossed eight shutout innings against the Red Sox, limiting the opposition to just two hits and a walk while striking out 12 batters. It’s the second time in Paxton’s career he’s reached the 12-strikeout threshold, previously fanning 16 batters on May 2 last year against the Athletics. The lefty tossed eight-plus shutout innings on five previous occasions in his career spanning 106 starts.

The Yankees went on to defeat the Red Sox 8-0, with Joe Harvey finishing out the game in the ninth. After Tuesday’s effort, Paxton’s ERA now stands at a much more appealing 3.91 with 31 strikeouts and seven walks across 23 innings.

The reigning World Series champion Red Sox are now 6-12 to start the season. That is, ah, not great.

Gio González is now a free agent

Gio Gonzalez
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Everyone suspected this would happen and now it has: Gio González has requested and has been granted his release from his minor league deal with the Yankees. He is a free agent.

González stood to earn a $3 million salary if the Yankees elect to add him to the 25-man roster, with additional bonuses of $300,000 pending each start he makes after that, but nothing he did at Triple-A merited a callup. He issued 10 runs, six walks, and 19 strikeouts over his first 15 innings in the minors. He fired his agent, Scott Boras, late last week and hired CAA Baseball instead.

No word on whether CAA will be better at convincing anyone to sign a guy who walked six guys in 15 minor league innings to a big league deal than Boras was, frankly. My guess is that González will be on another minor league deal again soon if he wants to pitch in 2019.