Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Impressed By James Paxton’s Ability To Minimize Damage

The start of the season for James Paxton provided some mixed results in his first year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Paxton has posted a 2.58 ERA across seven starts while going 5-0, but he’s walked 24 hitters in 38.1 innings, striking out just 22 with a 1.41 WHIP. His month of April was even more extreme as he walked 22 hitters in 25.2 innings while still posting a solid 3.51 ERA.

Because of the walk issues, Paxton consistently dealt with traffic on the bases, and opposing teams had many opportunities to break the game open. However, that didn’t come back to haunt him as Paxton limited opposing offenses to three runs or fewer in all but one start, when he allowed four runs.

Paxton’s ability to limit damage and pitch out of jams is something that has caught the eye of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who praised the Big Maple for his maturity on the mound.

“I think the most impressive thing is he uncharacteristically has walked a lot of guys and still being able to weather those base runners and still make pitches to limit the damage,” Roberts said. “Not get overly frustrated to cost us a start or an outing, and to keep kind of working through it. And I think the last couple, he’s been considerably better. And that just speaks to obviously experience and maturity.”

In his last two starts, both in May, Paxton has only walked two hitters across 12.2 innings, and he feels he’s turned a corner and found some rhythm after a rough start. During those two outings, he’s allowed just one run and struck out seven.

The Dodgers will continue to rely on Paxton at the back of their rotation, and with the way he’s pitching, it’s a safe bet that he will continue to contribute in an effective way.

However, he can take another step forward and provide the club with far more than they hoped if he can get his strikeout rate back on track. The 35-year-old has struck out more than nine hitters per nine innings over his career, but that number this season has dropped to five per nine.

James Paxton felt good after last outing

In his last outing on May 11, Paxton did not walk a single hitter, and he gave up just four hits over six scoreless innings. The southpaw was proud of his outing, and hopes to keep the success rolling.

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