Yankees: Luis Severino could pitch out of the bullpen when he returns


According to Yankees GM Brian Cashman, there’s a possibility Luis Severino could be limited to 75 pitches as a starter or pitch out of the bullpen when he returns from the IL. Sevy could resume his throwing program next week but unfortunately, he’s still at least another six weeks away from being big league ready.

It doesn’t sound like the Yankees ace is returning anytime soon, but Brian Cashman still seems optimistic that we will see him pitch this season. Sevy has been out with a lat injury for the entire season and has suffered multiple setbacks throughout the rehab process.

Before the most recent setback he suffered at the end of June the expectation was that he would be able to return shortly after the All-Star break. Clearly, that’s not going to happen now, but the good news is he’ll start throwing again in the coming days.

Cashman discussed a range of topics including Sevy’s timeline and what his role could be when he rejoins the club in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM on Friday.

Considering how he probably won’t return until the end of August or in early September it’s no surprise that Cashman said he might be on a 75 pitch limit if he comes back as a starter. He also mentioned he could pitch out of the bullpen which is very intriguing because that’s something he had a ton of success doing back in 2016.

That year Sevy started the season in the rotation but he struggled mightily out of the gates going 0-6 with an ERA of 7.46. By mid-May, he was sent down to Triple-A Scranton. When he returned the Yankees decided to use him in long relief and he absolutely dominated. In 23 IP out of the pen, he posted an ERA of 0.39 with 25 K’s and an 0.77 WHIP.

At that point in his career, Sevy had trouble putting hitters away as a starter and was basically only a two-pitch pitcher. He hadn’t really developed his changeup yet so a move to the bullpen made sense because he was able to thrive as a reliever only featuring his 100 mph fastball and his wipeout slider.

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Since the 2016 season, Sevy has obviously figured things out a starter so it will be interesting to see how the Yankees opt to use him once he’s healthy. That could all depend on the health of injured reliever Dellin Betances along with what the team does before the July 31st trade deadline.

Betances has also been out all season with shoulder and lat issues and is expected to begin his throwing program on Monday according to Cashman. If he returns in the coming weeks putting Sevy in the bullpen might not be necessary because the Yankee pen is already stacked as it is.

However, if Betances doesn’t return they could move Sevy to a long relief role for the stretch run. They could also do so if make a they trade for a front of the rotation type starter (hopefully Trevor Bauer).

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Regardless of his role, the most important thing for the Yankees is just getting Severino back. They’ve had an outstanding season so far without him but if he can come back and contribute he would provide a huge boost as they make their push for another championship.