Dodgers Spring Training: James Paxton Feeling ‘Good’ & ‘Ready To Go’

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James Paxton made his debut outing with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, starting off his one-year campaign with two solid innings of work.

The left-hander tallied four strikeouts against the Cincinnati Reds, capping off his start by striking out the side in the second inning.

Paxton joined the Dodgers on a reworked contract after some concerns with his medicals popped up. But despite those concerns, Paxton has confidence in his health.

“It feels good,” Paxton said. “Just timing things up. Felt a little bit like things were not clicking out there, but I felt good with where we’re at. Kind of right where I should be right now.”

Paxton logged 96 innings in 2023, his highest total since the 2019 season. He ended the year hampered by an ailing knee, he’s prepared to build on his recent body of work.

“Just kind of got those innings last year, and I think it was good to build into this year,” Paxton said. “I’ll be ready to throw more innings this year. Body feels really good, so I’m ready to go.

“Physically. It had been two and a half years since I pitched innings and been in the big leagues, so I kind of felt like I reached a point where my body was just a little burnt out.”

Paxton posted a 2.73 ERA, 3.63 FIP with a 0.98 WHIP in his first 10 starts of the 2023 season, enduring a much different second half of the season.

“Last year I felt really good,” Paxton said. “Toward the end I just got a little burnt out. It was really just the last three starts that I didn’t have much left in the tank. I think I gave up, like, 19 runs in not very many innings. I felt really good last season. I put in good work and building toward this year.”

The Dodgers have been an organization with a keen ability to bring out the best in a player’s ability. Paxton being with the front office and coaching staff for such a short period has been enough to have a very positive early impact.

“They’ve been great,” Paxton said when speaking on the Dodgers’ staff. “We’ve been watching some video from 2019, when my mechanics felt really good. Just kind of working on getting back to that.”

Dave Roberts encouraged by James Paxton’s debut outing

Paxton’s first start showcased a bit of everything, including a wipe out breaking ball, a high and tight fastball, and a back door changeup, all for strikeouts.

The veteran garnered praise from his manager after a positive start to his Spring Training stretch.

“I thought he was good,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “I’m sure he had some emotions, some adrenaline, whatever it might be. Even for a veteran.

“I thought the second inning was considerably better. I still thought the ball came out good. His fastball came out good and had life to it. With the three strikeouts that second inning, that was positive.”

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