The Yankees’ starting rotation has taken its fair share of hits lately, losing Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery to the COVID-IL, along with Domingo German to a shoulder injury.
Luckily, they are extremely close to getting a major reinforcement back to their staff in the form of their ace prior to the arrival of Cole in 2020.
Right-handed pitcher Luis Severino’s long-awaited return to the big leagues is about to take place, and could be as soon as next Wednesday, August 18.
According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the plan is to have Severino make another rehab start on Friday for Double-A Somerset. Then afterwards, his next outing could possibly come at the major league level.
“Get him built up more and then we’ll probably have a decision in front of us, whether he takes another [rehab start] or at that point is with us,” Boone told reporters. “He’s certainly getting close.”
In Severino’s last rehab outing on Sunday, he was impressive, throwing four perfect innings while striking out five and setting down all 12 hitters he faced on only 48 pitches. Severino also helped the Somerset Patriots toss a combined no-hitter in this contest.
What impressed Boone the most was Severino’s stuff, as his fastball sat in the mid-to-upper-90s.
“Just the way he got after it, his stuff is good, but the energy he’s out there with, he’s feeling good,’’ Boone said.
Severino underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2020 and has not pitched in a game for the Yankees since the 2019 season. Unfortunately, Severino was limited to just five starts and 20.1 total innings in ’19 across the regular season and postseason due to rotator cuff inflammation and a lat strain.
The 27-year-old made back-to-back All-Star Game appearances from 2017-18, but since signing a four-year, $40 million extension with the Bronx Bombers back in spring training of 2019, he has been plagued by injuries, derailing his young career and limiting him to just five total starts during this span.
While there is no guarantee that he will be the same pitcher he once was when he takes the mound again for the Yankees, it is a great sign that his stuff is beginning to look like the Severino of old.
With Severino back, him and Cole have a chance to form a dominant 1-2 punch in the Yankees’ rotation, which is exactly what Brian Cashman envisioned when he inked Cole to a massive deal in December of 2019.
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