Pain in rear for Yankees’ Paxton is minor nerve irritation

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              New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton throws to the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Paxton did not return to throw in the second inning. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — James Paxton and the Yankees are confident the left-hander will be ready for the playoffs after an MRI showed only nerve irritation in his buttocks.

Paxton said Saturday that he’s “on some pills to help calm it down.”

The Yankees removed Paxton as a precaution after the first inning Friday night against Texas, his final start before the postseason, because he felt tightness and some discomfort.

“We think it’s something minor,” manager Aaron Boone said Saturday. “He’s going to take a little medicine now, but feel like it’s not going to alter anything for him moving forward as far as the work he’ll do from now until he goes back out there. Feel like overall it’s pretty good news and encouraged by how he’s feeling.”

Paxton (15-6) had won 10 consecutive starts before what became a no-decision in a 14-7 Yankees victory in the series opener against the Rangers.

Boone said in a normal situation, Paxton would have continued pitching and been able to be effective.

“It was just something where obviously the next one’s really important and didn’t want to take any risk,” Boone said.

CC Sabathia, who is retiring after this season, likely will work out of the bullpen in the playoffs. He retired three batters in an inning of relief against Tampa Bay on Wednesday that ended a string of 560 starts in the regular season.

After initially indicating that Sabathia would get another relief appearance before the postseason, Boone said Saturday that the lefty probably won’t pitch this weekend against the Rangers.

Boone said the 39-year-old pitcher “will probably” be on the AL Division Series roster, and that the Yankees want to make sure he’s physically in the best spot possible for whatever role.

“Just feel like it’s better coming off the relief outing to give him the break, and hopefully that serves him better moving forward,” Boone said. “We’ll sim game Tuesday and Wednesday, and he’ll most likely be a part of that.”