Yankees starter Luis Severino put forth his latest dud on Thursday night against Baltimore, allowing 10 hits and 7 earned runs in under 3.0 innings pitched. The outing raised his ERA to 7.38 on the season, while Severino's opponents raised their collective average to .315 against the right-hander.
So get ready for Luis Severino Bobblehead Night on Friday against the Cubs!
Nobody needs the All-Star break more than Severino, except perhaps the bullpen arms he tired out by departing early on Thursday night. The return of Carlos Rodón on Friday night doesn't necessarily signal rotation normalcy on the horizon (his pitch count will be very limited), but it at least ushers in a period of asking questions.
Nestor Cortes probably won't be available until the start of August, but if Rodón is able to build himself up in the coming weeks, that shouldn't matter much for a potential Severino shift. Clark Schmidt, who's been a far more appealing option for months, doesn't deserve to lose his rotation spot. Besides, both Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez have also been more effective than Severino.
The Yankees clearly don't want to acknowledge a problem until said problem is burnt to a crisp; look at the way they've handled the past two Sevy outings, letting him try to dig and dig and dig until he's trying to fire a 95 MPH fastball dead center through a pile of discarded dirt. They're not going to exit the break with an announcement that he's left the rotation. But after a week-long breather while the All-Stars show off in Seattle, Severino's next start should be his final one unless he shows immediate signs of improvement (and by "signs," we mean "a near-impossible total turnaround").
Yankees need to pull the Alek Manoah reset with Luis Severino
Unfortunately for Severino, that "one more start" couldn't possible be in a worse spot. Either the Yankees deploy him in the thin air in Colorado, or he gets to face Shohei Ohtani in Anaheim. Take your pick!
The reality of the situation is that one more start will probably only further emphasize the reality of Severino's downfall, rather than buying him more time. It's unlikely things will get any better on the back end of the break, and the Yankees will once again have to reckon with the reality that their former ace's final two months in pinstripes will be a sad tale rather than a rebirth.
He's owed the 10-day break afforded to him by the Midsummer Classic to work out his mechanical kinks, though, before the Yankees take evasive action. If he can't sneak a fastball past a snoozing security guard at that point, they should feel comfortable pulling the fake IL card and rolling with Brito/Vásquez, as they've already done for a month since Cortes' injury. Or maybe it's ... not a "fake" IL stint? Considering he's lost everything that made his fastball special in a one-month span since his outing against the Padres, no one in their right mind can guarantee he's healthy.
Whether the pain is all real or half-mental, Severino should be approaching his final chance.