The Case For
While the young Dominican is but 21 years old, Luis Severino’s performance and confidence have betrayed his age. Calling Severino up from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre in late July has been the equivalent of a team dealing for an ace at the trade deadline.
Although he was winless in his first three starts, Severino did not let the unsettling start get the best of him: in his first six starts in the big leagues, Severino is showcasing better figures than David Price and Johnny Cueto, both of whom were acquired by the Jays and Royals respectively to bolster their team’s chances at a division title.
In 35 1/3 innings, Severino has struck out 34 batters, allowed just 28 hits, and mustered a dazzling 2.04 ERA, allowing the hurler to go 3-0 in his last three starts, posting a 0.73 ERA in his last two outings against the Braves and Rays.
Severino throws stuff reminiscent of a young Pedro Martinez and has not allowed the grind of a pennant race to hinder what he is capable of doing on the mound.
The Case Against
Tanaka and Eovaldi have logged 878.2 innings between them at the major league level. Severino has thrown less than four percent as many innings as that. While none of the three are playoff-tested in the majors, expecting a 21 year old to lead a staff into the postseason for the first time since 2012 is a gargantuan undertaking.
While his stuff is the filthiest of the three “aces” in question, Severino will be called upon to make at least five more starts the rest of the way, all of them against divisional or crosstown rivals, and perhaps another in a one-game, wild card elimination battle that could pit him against a big-game tested pitcher in Cole Hamels of the Texas Rangers.
In 2016 and beyond, Severino will earn the right to cement his status as a Yankee ace, but in 2015, calling upon the young star to lead a rotation is all sorts of ludicrous…just don’t tell him.