TAMPA — Fresh off his first bullpen since Tommy John surgery, Luis Severino is already looking ahead to rejoining the Yankees' rotation later this summer.
Until then, as his excitement to return to pinstripes continues to grow, he'll be throwing two bullpens per week as he begins to ramp up his pitch count.
"Two bullpens a week, Tuesday and Friday," Severino explained in a Zoom call on Monday afternoon. "I don't know for how long we're gonna do that. We're doing fastballs right now. Later on, we're gonna introduce the breaking pitches. And that's it. After that, we'll see how long it's going to be until we get to New York."
Severino had his right elbow operated on just over one year ago, early on in spring training last season. He climbed back onto the mound for the first time since the surgery last week, throwing 20 pitches.
"I was feeling pretty good that day. I've been feeling pretty good. I didn't know what to do in my first bullpen. So I treated it like it was a normal bullpen," Severino recalled. "They told me not to throw it too hard. So I tried to back up a little bit. I was feeling pretty good, I was throwing a lot of strikes."
As the 27-year-old alluded to, coaches instructed him to hold back since the ball was coming out of his hand so well. Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey said it's the "most comfortable" and "aggressive" he's ever seen a pitcher in their first bullpen since Tommy John.
Severino explained that it's a challenge not to throw hard when he's toeing the rubber, but he understands he needs to take his time in order to avoid any setbacks in his recovery.
A few weeks ago, the right-hander mentioned that he's certain he'll return as good as he was before the surgery. Severino was a 19-game winner back in 2018, solidifying his ace-like role atop the Yankees' rotation. Since then, he's only made three starts due to injuries.
He's scheduled to return to New York's pitching staff midway through the regular season, some time later this summer.
"This is first time and hopefully the last time I'll have Tommy John," Severino said. "So I don't know how long it takes to get that muscle and that tendon ready to throw five or six innings. The good thing is that I'm feeling really good."
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