Red Sox place pitcher James Paxton on IL with knee inflammation, ending his season

Boston Red Sox pitcher James Paxton throws during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox left-hander James Paxton was placed on the 15-day injured list with right knee inflammation, a move manager Alex Cora says will end his season.

“It’s been barking at him,” Cora said Sunday at Fenway Park before a series finale against AL East-leading Baltimore. “We looked at pushing him back. I don’t think it makes sense to push him. He’s been through so much in his career.”

Originally, the team pushed back the start of the 34-year-old Paxton to Tuesday against the New York Yankees, but decided it was best to shut him down. Cora said Nick Pivetta will take Paxton’s turn in the rotation the rest of the season.

Paxton tore the ulnar collateral ligament in a start with Seattle in April 2021 and had surgery a week later. Paxton had a $6 million deal for the 2022 season while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He didn’t pitch that year because of a few setbacks during the recovery process.

“It was good,” said Cora, of his season. “The medical staff did an outstanding job the past two years to get him to the point that he was one of the best pitchers in the big leagues.”

He picked up a $4 million option to return this season and went 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 starts. He was one of the game’s top pitchers in June, going 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in five starts.