Yankees’ 7.26 ERA shows signs of life after dominant win

mlb: washington nationals at new york yankees, luis severino
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have undoubtedly faced their fair share of challenges this season, marked by injuries and inconsistent performances. Among the disappointments, starting pitcher Luis Severino’s struggles have been particularly notable. Despite his past successes, Severino’s 2023 season has been a far cry from his previous form.

A Roller-Coaster Journey for Severino

Luis Severino’s journey this season has been a roller-coaster ride, punctuated by injuries and fluctuations in performance. After overcoming a significant groin injury and bouncing back from Tommy John surgery, Severino showcased promise with an impressive 2022 campaign.

From Stellar to Struggling: Severino’s Performance Dive

Severino’s 2022 resurgence, with a 3.18 ERA across 102 innings, highlighted his potential to regain his form. However, this season has seen a different narrative unfold. His statistics illustrate a player grappling with difficulties, evident in his 7.26 ERA, 5.20 xFIP, 7.63 strikeouts per nine, and a 63.2% left-on-base rate over 74.1 innings. The most concerning aspect has been his career-high 20.4% HR/FB ratio, contributing to his struggles.

Forced Utilization Amid Injuries

Despite Severino’s struggles, the Yankees’ injury woes have left them with no choice but to continue utilizing him. A recent matchup against the Washington Nationals showcased a glimmer of hope as Severino turned in an impressive performance. Pitching 6.2 scoreless innings, he surrendered only one hit while striking out two batters and walking two. This outing marked a significant step forward and his first scoreless appearance since June 24.

Analyzing the Performance: Pitch Breakdown and Location Woes

Severino’s recent success raises optimism, but a deeper analysis reveals nuances in his performance. Examining his pitch breakdown against the Nationals, it becomes evident that his pitch location has been a point of concern this season. While his velocity remains robust, a significant number of pitches were placed in the middle of the strike zone. His success against the Nationals may have been partially influenced by their inability to capitalize on these opportunities.

A Glimpse of Renewed Confidence

Severino’s solid 6.2-inning performance is undeniably encouraging and holds the potential to provide a much-needed boost to his confidence. As he navigates his journey back to form, his recent success could play a pivotal role in reshaping his outlook.

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Should the Yankees Bring Him Back?

Looking ahead, the Yankees face decisions about Severino’s role in the team’s future. While his recent performance offers hope, it’s crucial to approach his potential return cautiously. If the Yankees consider retaining Severino for the 2024 season, it should be as a back-end piece rather than a primary starter.

A Glimmer of Hope Amid Challenges

Luis Severino’s struggles and subsequent resurgence exemplify the unpredictable nature of sports. His recent triumph on the mound serves as a reminder that resilience and determination can pave the way for redemption. As the Yankees navigate their path forward, Severino’s journey continues to be a narrative of hope amid the challenges of the season.