The New York Yankees are getting extremely close to seeing their ace Luis Severino return to the mound. It has been 11 months since Severino last pitched in a competitive game, but on Sunday afternoon he finally took the mound in a minor-league assignment.
How did New York Yankees SP Luis Severino look?
Facing six batters for Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre, his first action in quite some time did not go as planned. While he did not suffer any setbacks to his injury, he surrendered a double, single and sacrifice fly. He did record two strikeouts in the first inning. He also gave up a solo homerun in the second inning before being pulled.
Severino was a frequent flyer in regards to the strike zone, throwing for 20 strikes over 33 total pitches. The plan was always to pull him after two innings, but he was smacked around a bit which called for early retirement. However, we shouldnâ€™t be discouraged by this performance considering how long itâ€™s been since his last pitch on the mound.
Facing live batters is a totally different game, and every performance moving forward should see him slowly return to his former self. Â Luis refused to speak with the media after the game, likely due to his performance. Severino was reaching 96 mph on his fastball which is encouraging coming off a serious injury. After leaving them out in a second inning, Serena Toston extra 15 pitches in the bullpen before departing back to New York.
Having command of his pitches was an essential part of redeveloping Severinoâ€™s game to a point where he can face professional batters at the top level. Bing batted around at the minor-league level means he needs a bit more time to reach his potential, but that is expected.
Here’s what some of the opposing hitters had to say, according to NJ.com:
â€œObviously, his fastball had some life on it,â€ said Buffalo center fielder Anthony Alford. â€œAgainst me, I thought he was missing up a little bit, but after that, he settled in and hit the strike zone. I thought he looked pretty good.â€
Buffalo DH Socrates Brito said, “he has electric stuff.”
Coming from the opposing players, Severino is ready to perform in the majors, but some might agree he needs more time to find his rhythm. I tend to agree — ensuring his confidence is high and his command is where it needs to be should be a priority. The Yankees are well in front in the playoff race and don’t need him right away.
Severino will need a few appearances to prepare for postseason baseball, though.