10 ‘Ifs’ That Can Turn The 2017 New York Yankees Into Champions

8. If … Severino’s Sophomore Struggles Are A Fluke

Luis Severino was arguably the reason why the Bombers didn’t fall completely out of contention in 2015.

After he made his major league debut on Aug. 5 against the Boston Red Sox, the then 21-year old went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA to compliment an 8.1 K/9 rate, .229 BAA, and a 1.203 WHIP.

In his sophomore season, however, his title of “future ace” didn’t fit the production, as Sevy went 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA while serving up 11 home runs and 70 hits in 47.2 innings of work across the same amount of starts (11).

Additionally, his K/9 ratio also declined from 8.1 to 7.7 while his opponent’s batting average spiked from .229 to .337.

Then, after a couple demotions, manager Joe Girardi decided to throw the youngster into the bullpen — where he may have commenced his legacy as a dominant reliever.

In 23.1 innings of relief starting on July 27 against the Houston Astros, he has held opponents to a .105/.209/.158 slash line while maintaining a 0.39 ERA and striking out 25.

While some people, like myself, consider his future is in the bullpen, if Severino could produce the same success he had when he had his first cup of coffee in the Bronx, Masahiro Tanaka would have the perfect No. 2.

The rotation could sure use another piece but if Sevy could recapture his rookie dominance, they’re certainly heading in the right place.