New York Yankees starter Luis Severino has yet to pitch in 2019, but his Friday bullpen session was a major step forward.
Sure, the New York Yankees missed on acquiring starting pitching help at the trade deadline. But Luis Severino is looming large as the Bronx Bombers prepare for an October run.
Severino hasn’t pitched in 2019 due to a right rotator cuff injury and a right lat strain. However, he threw a bullpen session on Friday that he described as “perfect.”
Serverino, after throwing his first bullpen since March, described it as “perfect. Better than I expected.” Said he expects to have to throw 3 or 4 bullpens before being cleared to face pitchers
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) August 9, 2019
Of course, many fans didn’t want to hear the company line that getting back Severino was the same thing as acquiring a starter at the deadline. It seemed like a cop-out for general manager Brian Cashman and to some extent, it was.
But we have to remember Severino could fundamentally change the makeup of the current pitching staff. He still wants to be a starter, but it’s not hard to envision a scenario where the Yankees deploy him as a dynamic and versatile weapon out of the bullpen.
Who could forget Sevy’s 2016 resurgence out of the bullpen? After getting smacked around as a starter, he returned to the minors to work out the kinks. When he came back to the majors, he was mainly deployed as a reliever. He allowed one earned run in 22.1 innings out of the bullpen that season.
The Yankees have been dominant when using an “opener” this season mainly using Chad Green in the role, but occasionally turning to Stephen Tarpley and Jonathan Holder. They are 11-0 when using the opener.
Severino could be the perfect fit for the long-man after an inning or two from Chad Green. This could also be a clever way to avoid an early postseason implosion from Severino like we saw in the 2017 AL Wild Card Game.
No matter how the Yankees plan to deploy Severino when he returns, they are certainly looking forward to having him back in the mix.