New York Yankees‘ Luis Severino, 24, is rising up the leader board with a bullet and may be collecting Cy Young votes as he does it.
On a day when he felt he didn’t have it all working for him against the Oakland Athletics, Severino pitched six innings of one hit ball with 5 hits, all singles, one run, seven strikeouts and two walks.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Severino said after the game:
“I didn’t have my slider. My fastball command wasn’t where it usually is,” Severino said. “I grinded to get through six innings.”
Meanwhile, Severino’s ERA has shrunk from 2.61 in April to 2.14 after Sunday’s win against the Athletics. He previously bested the Houston Astros’ lineup with a 2.11 ERA and the Boston Red Sox with a 2.21 ERA.
Against the Astros, Severino tossed his first career complete game shut-out.
He is currently tenth in the league in ERA, behind Patrick Corbin (2.12) of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Sean Manaea (2.11) of the Athletics and trending up.
According to Fangraphs, Severino (2.4) is also ranked third in WAR behind only Gerrit Cole (2.8) of the Astros and Max Scherzer (2.6) of the Washington Nationals.
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Severino is tied with Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians for second place in wins with six behind the Nationals’ Max Scherzer with seven.
So despite not having the slider and not having command of his fastball, Severino managed to raise his record to 6-1 and the Yankees have now won eight of his nine starts.
Ryan Chichester of Pinstripe Alley writes that even when Severino finds himself in a jam, as he did in Sunday’s fifth inning against the Athletics, his numbers only improve:
“In the rare event that he has ran into trouble this season, he seems to reach back for more and perform even better on the mound. He already holds hitters to a .242 wOBA with the bases empty, but those numbers only improve when the pressure increases. With men on base, that wOBA drops to .214. With runners in scoring position, it plummets to .171. Slugging percentage and batting average also follow the same trend.”
Severino is performing like an ace and the uptrend in his numbers show that he is improving as he progresses through the season, even when he’s grinding out starts.
Severino has the confidence and ability on the mound to be the ace of this staff and to be a league leader.