James Paxton is headed to Tampa in what could be the final step of his rehab process.
After a successful bullpen session, Paxton is scheduled to toss a simulated game on Friday down in Tampa. If all goes well, YES Network's Meredith Marakovits said on Tuesday night's broadcast that the Yankees would likely activate him afterward.
Marakovits spoke to Paxton after the bullpen, and he said he felt "next to nothing" on the left knee that has kept him out since May 4. That wasn't the case on Sunday when he still felt some discomfort, so this is a step in the right direction.
While the Yankees have been winning since Paxton went down, having him back in the rotation would be another huge return for New York. The big lefty was finding his rhythm in pinstripes before the injury.
He had back-to-back scoreless starts against the Red Sox (8.0 IP, 2 H, 12 K) and Royals (6 IP, 3 H, 12 K, 1 BB) on April 16 and April 21, and though he allowed three runs to the Giants over 5.2 innings, he started well against the Twins on May 3 before coming out of the game early.
Overall, Paxton has a solid 3.11 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 37.2 innings this season.