Luis Severino, New York Yankees
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Luis Severino’s rotator cuff injury will probably keep him off the field for more than a month of the New York Yankees’ 2019 season.

Aaron Case

The New York Yankees were already prepared to be without Luis Severino for a couple of weeks. Now the team is facing the likelihood of playing the first 30 regular-season games or so minus their ace.

Severino missed his first start of spring on Mar. 5 because of inflammation in his rotator cuff. He’s been undergoing treatment ever since.

New York initially expected him to miss only his first few starts of the regular season. However, GM Brian Cashman told the media on Friday that a May return is more likely, per ESPN’s Coley Harvey.

The 25-year-old signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension just weeks before the injury struck. He was an MLB All-Star for the second-consecutive year in 2018, finishing up with a 19-8 record and a 3.39 ERA.

Due to Sevy’s absence, manager Aaron Boone named Masahiro Tanaka the starter for his team’s Opening Day tilt against the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx. Lefties James Paxton and J.A. Happ will follow Tanaka.

Luis Cessa, Domingo German, and Jonathan Loaisiga are battling for the two starting slots that are currently open. CC Sabathia, who is still building up his strength after offseason heart surgery, should knock one of those youngsters out of the rotation midway through April.

Cashman may also be considering an outside replacement for Severino. Recent rumors connect the Yankees and free-agent lefty Gio Gonzalez, and southpaw Dallas Keuchel remains unsigned as well.

New York could even use an opener to bridge the gap to a healthy Severino. Boone recently suggested that he’ll deploy the trendy strategy to give his starters extra days off when necessary, and he has a stacked bullpen with which to work.

There are still 11 games on the grapefruit-league schedule. Watch closely to gather clues regarding the Yankees’ plan for dealing with Severino’s injury.

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Freelance editor and writer, and full-time Yankees fan. Originally from Monticello, NY, but now lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.