PHILADELPHIA — James Paxton, who signed with the Red Sox on Dec. 1, 2021, will finally get a chance to pitch for them next weekend.
On Saturday, manager Alex Cora said the team plans to activate Paxton from the injured list during the two-game series at Atlanta that begins Tuesday.
“Then we’ll decide when he pitches,” Cora said. “He’s going to start at one point during the week.”
Nick Pivetta and Brayan Bello are the scheduled starters against the Braves. The Sox open a three-game series at home Friday against the Cardinals.
Paxton, 34, had Tommy John surgery on April 13, 2021. The Sox signed him believing he could return in the second half of last season.
A series of setbacks prevented that. Paxton then picked up a $4 million player option on his deal.
The lefthander strained his right hamstring in his first spring training start and did not pitch again in camp. He was 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in six games for Triple A Worcester.
Paxton faced Buffalo on Friday and allowed two runs on two hits and five walks over five innings and 96 pitches.
“Overall, very pleased with how he threw the ball,” Cora said.
Paxton was 1-1 with a 6.65 ERA in six major league starts from 2020-21 with the Yankees (five) and Mariners (one). He was 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts for the Yankees in 2019.
Could the Sox go to the six-man rotation?
“If we want to, yeah,” Cora said. “We’ll see.”
It’s more likely the Sox drop a starter into the bullpen to see what Paxton can give them.