From the moment Luis Severino took the mound Wednesday against the Reds looking to halt the Yankees‘ three-game losing streak, it was immediately obvious he wasn’t coming to play with his full arsenal.
His fastball had lost two ticks, if you were working with a generous gun, and looked labored and aimed. His first pitch of the game was reported to be a changeup, already an odd call, but looked in reality more like a fastball with below-average zip. By the time he’d surrendered three consecutive home runs to the bottom of the Reds order, before (perhaps foolishly) gutting through the next three batters and touching 96, it was clear the Yankees had a concern beyond the final score.
The game never quite got out of hand, and ultimately turned into one of the wildest walk-off wins of a wild year. But concern for Severino lingered beyond the final out.
After the game, Sevy discussed his tight shoulder, which will lead him back to the MRI tube on Thursday afternoon. Though he assured Aaron Boone he was alright to continue midway through the second, he was, in fact, trying to shake off a concern that had dogged him all day.
Though nobody knew what was coming down the pike for Severino this season, it was always safe to say that some concern would eventually arrive after three seasons of near-inactivity. The Yankees had been watching his innings count like a hawk, the hidden issue as Jameson Taillon’s struggles and Nestor Cortes’ bumps in the road took center stage.
When Severino was cruising at 98, it was easier to ignore. Now, Severino’s innings limit is about to become the law of the land, and might end up smaller than most fans had hoped.
Yankees’ Luis Severino to undergo MRI on shoulder…again
Severino has a history with both serious shoulder injuries and worrisome shoulder alarms that turned out to be minor setbacks; just last summer, he scratched himself from a mid-August rehab start because he couldn’t get loose, but ended up on a big-league mound in mid-September, good as new.
This time around, the right-hander seems to believe he’ll be fine after the All-Star break, though the imaging he’s going to go through Thursday will tell a more enriched story than his best wishes.
Who replaces Luis Severino in Yankees rotation?
Prior to Severino’s injury, Aaron Boone already seemed confident he’d use a rehabbing Domingo German soon, but was unsure what the end goal of his activation would be. German has been near-ready for several weeks now, spending time at many levels of the minors. He’s also a known quantity; German is a capable innings-eater, and a sometimes-volatile back-end starter.
It’s quite likely, though, that Severino’s (somewhat) unforeseen issue will catapult German to the roster in place of JP Sears, who filled in admirably Wednesday, but was banished to the minors after the game ended.
It’s a minor miracle Severino made it 84 innings into 2022 before encountering a serious issue in the two innings that followed. A reasonable, hopeful timeline would’ve probably projected him for … 120 innings maximum, initially, after three straight MLB regular seasons of 12.0, 0, and 6.0 innings pitched. The hope is that Severino beats all pessimistic projections, a process which in his mind begins as soon as the second half opens.
Odds are the Yankees will be more conservative than their own right-hander, though.