Ever since the second half of the 2018 season, Luis Severino has been unable to consistently remain on the mound for the New York Yankees because of far too many injuries to count. Dating back to Opening Day in 2019, the right-hander has pitched in 45 games -- an average of 4.5 per year.
The relationship felt like it was doomed ever since the right-hander failed to communicate injury symptoms that eventually led to Tommy John surgery right before the start of the 2020 campaign.
He came back as a reliever for four games in 2021. His bounce-back year in 2022 was interrupted by a 60-day IL stint in mid-July. This season has been a disaster, ranging from performance issues, mental struggles, and now multiple injuries.
Severino already had his 2023 debut interrupted by a lat injury, which kept him out until late May. On Friday, in what was another start for him to prove he might be worth the qualifying offer, Sevy was forced to depart in the fifth inning because of a side injury that was so painful he felt as if "somebody shot" him.
And that's probably curtains on his Yankees career, if we're to read into the suspected severity of the ailment. There are three weeks left in the season and there's little reason for Severino to jeopardize his health for 2024. He'll be a free agent when November arrives and will be suiting up elsewhere after factors (mostly) out of his control contributed to one of the most disappointing finishes to a Yankees career.
Luis Severino's Yankee career likely ends with frustrating recurring injury narrative
Severino's third-place Cy Young finish in 2017 was thought to be a preview of his future leading the Yankees pitching staff to a World Series. Six years later, his career in the Bronx will likely end with a -1.5 WAR and one of the worst qualified ERAs (6.65), FIPs (6.15) and WHIPs (1.65) in the entire league after his final "full" season.
Simply put, this has been sad. Much like the Carlos Rodón signing, there are no words. Severino's future was laid out for him and it was inexplicably interrupted for more than five straight years. Rodón was a worthwhile free agency gamble with hopes of giving the Yankees' championship tenacity, but the early returns have been impacted by staggered playing time as a result of injuries.
This aren't cases of underperformance or failure to deliver. Yankees fans have plenty examples of that over the last four years, ranging from Aroldis Chapman to Josh Donaldson to Joey Gallo, etc.
Severino has had so many emotional pressers this season and has faced the media admirably. He's been there to discuss his health woes. He's been there to discuss some of the worst outings baseball fans will ever see. He's been there to voice his frustrations with the organization when he felt he was at odds with management. For the most part, it wasn't a pretty marriage, but it at least was an honest one, especially when the going got tough.
Fans didn't feel like they were asking too much for Severino to end 2023 on a high note after all he's been through, that's all. And yet another moral blow will play a role in further driving this season off the tracks.