New York Yankees Luis Severino
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez claims the New York Yankees ace’s second-half slump can be traced to pitching injured.

New York Yankees ace Luis Severino had a forgettable second half of the season, and we may finally know why.

No, it wasn’t a simple slump or tipping his pitches. In a story by Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post, Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez claimed Severino was not fully healthy during his rough stretch.

“He went through a little bad stretch that everybody goes,” Martinez said before the Yankees and A’s faced off. “And I didn’t know until I finally spoke to Severino that Severino wasn’t totally healthy, and they could not afford to stop him from pitching. So that ended up affecting the Cy Young type of season that he was having and affecting his performance when they needed him the most.”

If Luis Severino was pitching injured, then his numbers over a 10-start stretch make a lot of sense. He was 14-2 with a 2.31 ERA entering the All-Star Break. The following 10 starts saw him go 3-5 with a 6.97 ERA. His slider lost his bite and his fastball velocity was ever so slightly down.

The good news is Severino turned things around and went 2-1 with a 2.09 ERA in his final three starts.

In Wednesday nights 7-2 AL Wild Card victory over the Oakland A’s, he tossed four shutout innings and struck out seven. Outside of four walks, which can be attributed to Oakland’s hitters not swinging at his slider, he looked dominant as ever. He looked like the Severino of the first half. He was the ace.

It’s great that Severino is back in top form, but hidden injuries are nothing to sneeze at. Hopefully, his health remains good during the postseason and can lead the Bombers to a long playoff run.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.