Yankees: Luis Severino scheduled to start Sunday, what does it mean?
Before Thursday’s win over the Rays, the Yankees announced that Luis Severino will start the regular series finale Sunday in Boston. How many innings he’ll throw remains to be seen, but the fact that he’s scheduled to pitch raises questions on whether he’ll be chosen to start the AL Wild Card game.
Just because Sevy was announced to start game 162 doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be on the mound starting for the Yankees next Wednesday against the A’s. In fact, if the Yanks clinch home field for the WC game on Friday or Saturday he might not even make the start on Sunday because by then the game will be totally meaningless.
They could also opt to have him only throw a couple of innings Sunday and let that start serve as a throw day in preparation for the start against Oakland. Although something tells me that Aaron Boone and his coaching staff already have an idea who their choice might be given that J.A. Happ is set to take the mound tonight.
Right now Happ and Sevy are probably the two leading candidates to start the Wild Card game considering how poorly Masahiro Tanaka has pitched over his last two outings. With Happ going tonight that would conveniently line him up to start Wednesday on full rest. I don’t think that’s a coincidence so if Happ puts together another quality start tonight against Boston I think he will be the choice.
However, should Happ falter and put up a bad outing it could open the door for Sevy to still get the start. In that case, the Yankees could have him throw a couple innings on Sunday or have him not pitch in the game at all, as I mentioned above. If they end up scratching Sevy completely and he’s their guy there are still ways for him to get his work in behind the scenes so he’ll be ready to go on Wednesday.
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It’s going to be really a tough decision for Boone and company to make because they’re both great options, especially compared to what the A’s have in terms of starters.
With Happ, you have a pretty good idea of what you’re going to get out of him and that’s five to six quality innings and the ability to keep his team in the game. That’s pretty much all he’s done since coming to the Yanks and I’m sure they’d sign up for another outing like that in a second.
As for Sevy, he has the best chance to dominate the A’s lineup and go deep into the game which is why he’s still squarely in the mix, despite his lackluster second half. Leaving Sevy and his electric stuff on the bench would be tough to do if that’s the direction they go in, but you really can’t blame the Yanks if they choose Happ instead.
Unfortunately, Sevy brought this on himself with how poorly he pitched for the majority of the second half so there is a fear that his struggles could rear their ugly head. We all remember how last year’s Wild Card game went and the Yankees certainly don’t want to risk putting themselves in that kind of hole again.
I think with Happ pitching there’s a lesser chance of him blowing up than there is with Sevy so he would be the safer choice. Although as YES Network broadcaster and Yankee great David Cone said, “Severino is a Ferrari, and when you have a Ferrari in your garage are you going to leave that in the garage for a big game?”
Stay tuned, there’s a lot to be decided from now until Wednesday.