Wendell Cruz | USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have yet another injured pitcher ahead of Opening Day. Joel Sherman of the Post reports that Luis Severino will miss his final spring start and is in “jeopardy to miss his first start of the regular season with a lat strain.

Manager Aaron Boone added that Clarke Schmidt would start the Yankees’ second game of the season. Brendan Kuty of The Athletic reported Severino won’t throw for 5-7 days. Boone said that in the meantime, the fifth starter could be either bullpen days or prospect Jhony Brito could get a chance.

This caps what was a frustrating spring for Luis Severino. His pitches were all working but the results weren’t there. He posted a 9.00 ERA in five starts and gave up six home runs in 15 innings. The injury didn’t play a role, though he did apparently complain about tightness in his side after his last start.

Yankees fans know this story all too well and are probably having some unwelcome flashbacks. Luis Severino also had a spring training lat injury back in 2019 and didn’t appear in a game until September. He then lost all of 2020 to Tommy John surgery. His return in 2021 was delayed by recovery and then shoulder and groin injuries, and his season was limited to four bullpen appearances.

Severino also dealt with shoulder trouble last year, but at least looked his old self on the mound. He posted a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts.

This time, however, the injury is particularly poorly timed and not just because Opening Day is Thursday. Nor is it because Carlos Rodon and Frankie Montas are also out with injuries.

Rather, the 2023 season marks Severino’s contract year and a strong season means big money. He has been vocal about wanting to stay in New York, but Brian Cashman may have second thoughts with this latest injury. Brito is a particularly interesting prospect who won’t command $20 million a year.

In the meantime, all the Yankees can do is hope Severino recovers quickly and his absence is a short one.

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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.