Latest Luis Severino update proves Yankees need to make big pitching move


The Yankees will ease Luis Severino into action when he returns in 2021.

Even with the return of Luis Severino in 2021, the New York Yankees are still in desperate need of pitching. Gerrit Cole is essentially all by himself in the starting rotation, with no reliable assistance behind him. Yankees fans certainly like Jordan Montgomery and Deivi Garcia, but those two, along with Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt, won’t suffice.

That’s not a World Series-winning starting rotation and it doesn’t take a baseball expert to know that. Slotting Severino into the No. 2 spot, coming off Tommy John surgery, still won’t move the needle all that much. Plus, he’s not slated to return until June or July.

On top of that? The Yankees are going to be cautious with the right-hander whenever he is able to take the mound. He’s already expected to miss (possibly) the first half of the season, and then he won’t have a full workload for the rest of the way. All that means is the Yankees need to make a big pitching move as soon as possible.

Last week, general manager Brian Cashman appeared on the YES Network and spoke with Meredith Marakovits during the “Yankees Hot Stove” show and said, “Severino coming out of the gate in the middle of the season will have maybe some safeties on, so to speak, until we get a chance to get a feel for where he’s at.”

OK, well, typically, pitchers aren’t thrown into the fire coming off Tommy John surgery, so this isn’t exactly anything out of left field, but it does remind us that the whole “easing back in” thing will be a reality. So if we’re talking about Severino not really being back at full strength until mid-August (?), then the Yankees need rotation reinforcements now.

The options aren’t all that great in free agency, so Cashman is going to likely have to explore the trade market, which he reportedly has after we heard about the Jameson Taillon rumors with the Pirates.

Nonetheless, this Severino update just serves as a reminder that the Yankees still don’t have enough starters to get past the ALCS. They just don’t. And we can bet Severino’s shortened 2021 season will serve more as a “getting back on track” stint than an attempt to help the Bombers contend. That’s just the likely reality, and one fans have to brace for.

That’s why, once again, starting pitching is a paramount need for this team heading into another season in which it’s a World Series-or-bust mentality. A lot of the fanbase’s energy has been dedicated to bringing DJ LeMahieu back. But that’s only a portion of the equation.

We probably won’t see full throttle Luis Severino until 2022 and the necessary moves need to be made to address that.