5. Young ace in the making Luis Severino
The Yankees, for the first time since Andy Pettitte, have an ace-in-the-making that is a product of its farm system in the young Luis Severino, regarded by some as a Pedro Martinez-like starter. While the likes of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes never panned out for the Yankees, Severino, up with the big club a year earlier than expected in light of Michael Pineda’s elbow woes and the failures of one-time ace CC Sabathia, has performed quite well in his three starts with New York, a team in the throes of a heated pennant race. Although he is 0-2 with a no decision in his three starts, Severino has managed a 3.18 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings behind two plus pitches in his moving, mid-90s fastball and a dropping changeup that is as polished as his nasty four-seamer. His nine strikeouts on Sunday, in the midst of his second straight quality start, came against a formidable Jays’ lineup that is MLB’s best.[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGd8HSj6TYs”]
Severino has shown moxie and confidence worthy of keeping his spot in the rotation, and given general manager Brian Cashman’s promise that the Yankees will not be limiting his innings or pitch counts, the young Dominican star is available for a playoff run that will heat up in August and September.
Severino, behind Tanaka, Pineda (when he returns), Nathan Eovaldi, and Ivan Nova, will only need to serve as the Yankees’ fifth starter (or sixth, if the Yankees do not feel up to inserting a struggling Sabathia into the bullpen), and in facing competition lesser than his ace potential, Severino should start racking up wins, with his first likely to come against the Indians this upcoming weekend.