New York Yankees: Luis Severino Is The Piece The Bullpen Needs To Succeed 2
Oct 1, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The fate of Luis Severino has been unknown since his arrival in the Bronx, but the New York Yankees would fare far better with his arm in the bullpen.

At the ripe age of 20 years old, Luis Severino was ranked the number one prospect in the New York Yankees organization. The Yankees worked hard to keep him in their system until his call-up in 2015.

But since then, he has bounced back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen. This season was one of unknowns for Severino and the Yankees. Severino succumbed to an injury in May, but not after he imploded at 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA.

The injury gave the Yankees time to reexamine the future of their flame-throwing young gun. A promising prospect, Severino’s first stint in the Bronx hinted at a bright future for the star. In his 11 starts in 2015, Severino pitched six or more innings eight times. When the 2016 season rolled around, Severino was a lock for a starting spot. That is, until, he underperformed.

But it was his time in the Yankees bullpen that raised eyebrows. From a prospect who was destined to be a dominant starting pitcher, it was a breath of fresh air to see him excel in the later innings. His first appearance out of the ‘pen saw him toss two strong innings, walking one and striking out three.

That, my friends, is the beginning of a new chapter in Severino’s career. It’s a chapter that should continue for the rest of his career.

Even with his dominance in the bullpen, the Yankees still put him back in the starting role for two games. In those games, he gave up a combined 12 earned runs. Even though the Yankees still have faith in him in the starting role, the numbers don’t lie. This season, Severino made a strong case for his status as a top-tier reliever.

With the shorter innings working in his favor, Severino went straight to the role of middle relief and made an impression right away. With the ability to toss three or four innings, Severino’s versatility was a major key to the Yankees’ playoff run.

Sep 7, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after striking out Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (not pictured) in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after striking out Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (not pictured) in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

In 12 appearances as a reliever, Severino only allowed two earned runs while striking out 26. Giving Severino a chance to have shortened appearances allows his velocity to remain consistent. He doesn’t tire out, even in outings where he goes four innings. He’s been a reliable bridge between inconsistent starting pitchers and a dominant closer.

It’s time to stop playing the back-and-forth game the Yankees tend to do with their starting pitchers. Yes, it’s okay to test out starters in the bullpen, but it is unfair to constantly shuffle them back and forth. The starting position and late inning relievers have different roles and a different approach. Keeping Severino in the ‘pen is just what the Yankees need.

Remember Tyler Clippard? Coming up as a pitcher, he’s found a home in the bullpen, where his pitching style is more effective. Mariano Rivera? Originally groomed to become a starter, he was shuffled to the bullpen, only to become arguably the greatest closer of all time.

If Severino’s performance from the ‘pen teaches us anything, it proves that you shouldn’t mess with a good thing. The Yankees have finally found a reliable middle reliever to use for multiple innings. Why change that?

Severino needs to be in the bullpen if the Yankees want a shot at fixing the issues they struggled with all season long. Who knows? Maybe a full season of Severino in relief will give the Yankees a boost to the playoffs.


6 COMMENTS

  1. are you an idiot??? the guy is like 22 years old, give him some time before throwing him in the bullpen.. the guy was a top tier prospect, sometimes it takes guys a little longer to figure shit out in the majors: Kershaw, Arrieta, Tilman, Lester… jesus, a kid gets called up 21 years old, doesn’t perform one year and were ready to bury the guy and stick him in a rinky-dink reliever role for failed starters.. let the guy earn his spot back i guarantee he is going to be a strong #2 next year.. if this writer was a manager or gm he would have stuck kershaw and his rookie 4.29 era 5-5 record in the bullpen instead of having the greatest pitcher of our generation.. GG

    • Philip, does calling somebody an idiot make you feel better about yourself? Does it make u feel superior to call somebody an idiot from behind a computer without a face to the words?

      It’s pathetic. it really is.

      Your point about certain starters needing time to develop is well taken, but you are discounting the fact that certain guys are a better FIT as a bullpen arm. The Braves saw that with Kimbrel, as far as just one example is concerned. Yanks saw that with Rivera.

      Why are you acting as tho a SP is far superior to a RP? WhIle a SP pitches far more innings, a RP impacts far more games.

      Don’t call anybody here an idiot again — especially when your view is subjective and u name call just to make yourself feel better about yourself.

      • no i feel amazing about myself.. have a good job, about to get married, but just passionate about my teams.. i can tell ur a hilary clinton supporter because you sound like a whiney lil puss .. grow a sack home boy hahaha

        • Oh man, your best bet was to just take it and walk away.

          You have NO fucking idea who I voted for or what I believe in. To make such a leap shows that you’re completely dripping with ignorance.

          Go, be passionate, but when you insult one of my writers with ZERO legitimate baseball knowledge behind your argument, you’re gonna get hammered.

          Go somewhere where they don’t know baseball. We do. You can’t get away with insulting one or our writers without BRINGING SOMETHING LEGITIMATE TO THE TABLE.

          • Loll, when u have dumbass writers I question the guy that hires em ; ).. i have much more baseball knowledge then all u and ur writers combined bro.. and when I hear someone suggest sticking a 22 year old talented starting pitcher (that was recently ranked a top ur farm system) in the bullpen because he had one down year and throwing all that potential in the toilet that makes me question your intelligence.. let me throw something at you.. take a look at CLAYTON KERSHAW & SANDY KOUFAX’s early years and tell me what you and ur dumbass writers would suggest doing with those immortal arms??? 4.26 era as a rookie?? ohh he should go in the bullpen.. hmmm 3.02, 4.91, 3.88 4.48, 3.91 eras in his first 5 years of his career??? maybe ur writers should preach patience with a young player as opposed to, “oh even after ur impressive rookie campaign, you had one down year because you didn’t make necessary adjustments after hitters adjusted to you, I think ur better off rotting in the bullpen and only pitching in the 7th inning”.. admit u and ur writers are wrong, don’t question someones baseball knowledge because I played ball in college and clearly you and ur loser writers sit their with ur little SaberMetrics print out and pass judgement on an athlete before he’s 24 years old lollllll… just a thought tough guy