TAMPA — For the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last spring, Luis Severino has thrown off a mound.
The right-hander tossed a bullpen session on Tuesday, per Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
"I watched him throw, he threw 20 pitches and it went really well," Boone said on Thursday morning. "He looked great, recovered yesterday."
Boone wasn't sure when Severino's next bullpen will be, but the starter is set to throw out to 90 feet again on Thursday and will get back on the mound again soon.
All 20 of Severino's pitches earlier this week were fastballs.
Severino, 27, missed all of the 2020 season after needing elbow surgery during spring training just over one year ago. That was fresh off another injury-riddled campaign the previous year where Severino only made three regular season starts.
While the right-hander is still several months away from rejoining New York's rotation—he's scheduled to return midway through the regular season—Boone was overjoyed with the way Severino looked on the mound.
The ball was coming out of Severino's hand so well, Boone said, that he and the other coaches watching had to tell the right-hander to "back off a little bit."
"It was a lot of fun for me to get over there on Tuesday morning to be there, to see that first one and just to see how he's moving around," Boone said. "There's just a confidence that he's exuding in his health, watching him play catch with the shape his body is in and the free and easy way in which he's throwing. He was really efficient the other day, throwing it exactly where we wanted it."
Yankees reliever Chad Green didn't get a chance to watch Severino's bullpen, but he was able to speak on the right-hander's progress solely from seeing him play catch over the last few weeks at camp.
"I thought the ball was coming out really well," Green explained. "From what I can tell, the arm speed is there. It honestly looks like he's ready to go right now is what it looked like from just playing catch."
Prior to 2019, Severino was the ace of the Yankees' staff. He won 19 games in 2018 over 32 starts and finished third in the race for the AL Cy Young Award the year before that, posting a 2.98 ERA across 193.1 innings pitched. Severino made the All-Star Game in both of those two seasons.
A few weeks ago, Severino assured that his recovery from the surgery is going well and that he's confident he'll be the same pitcher going forward that fans watched back in 2018.
"I'm 100 percent sure that I'll be back to how I was in the past," Severino said in a Zoom call with reporters. "My body, my arm, even mentally, I feel pretty strong that when I get the chance to be back in New York, I'll be myself again."
With the offseason additions of Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon, joining a rotation led by Gerrit Cole with left-hander Jordan Montgomery, a healthy Severino would help take this staff to the next level. Until he returns, hurlers including Domingo Germán, Deivi García, Michael King and Nick Nelson are competing to start in the rotation's fifth spot.
Again, Severino's highly-anticipated return to pinstripes won't take place for a few months from now, but based on the way Boone spoke about Severino's bullpen, the right-hander should come back at full force once he's ready to go.
"There's no question in how he's expressed himself that you feel like he's in a good place right now," Boone said. "I think for the last several weeks he has been champing at the bit to get on the mound because I think he's felt very ready to do that."
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