Yankees: Bad Luis Severino injury news already putting starting rotation in trouble

New York Yankees, Luis Severino
Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino in the in the dugout during game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees may be facing legitimate concerns with their starting pitching rotation, which isn’t anything new given general manager Brian Cashman’s approach over the past few seasons. Investing in injury-prone talent and supplemental starters has proven to be a deficient strategy predicated on a heavily influential bullpen.

This upcoming year, management seems convinced that Luis Severino will end up being a primary starter in the rotation, despite pitching just 18 innings over the past three combined seasons. Last year, he made just four appearances for six innings of action, looking good over such a small sample size but not proving to be a consistent threat.

With the lockout keeping teams from starting spring training on a normal schedule, the Yankees have been trying to get as much work in as possible before opening day on April 7. Severino made two appearances this spring, recording a 17.18 ERA over 3.2 innings. He has allowed eight hits and seven earned runs in that time span, striking out just one batter.

Severino needs more time to find his groove, but it seems as if he will only have one or two more opportunities to get legitimate action before the season begins. However, after his last start, he felt general soreness, creating more fear that he could be a liability moving forward.

“I think if we had three or four more outings, you’d see it iron out,” pitching coach Matt Blake said Monday. “But right now, it’s like we’ve got probably another seven-to-10 days to get this right and then continue to build on it in the season. It’s not going to be a finished product.”

The Yankees are running out of time to feel confident in the rotation:

Blake hit on the fact that Severino has struggled this spring, and there’s a lack of time for him to prepare. Given he’s already experiencing soreness and causing concern, Cashman may be hard-pressed to find another starter to help fill out the rotation.

“Yeah, I think anytime a guy comes out in spring training and doesn’t necessarily have the success that we want, it gives you pause,” he said. “I think the fact that the velo has been there and the quality of the pitches have been there, but the execution hasn’t … I think some of it is game speed and just getting the delivery under control and getting him to repeat that a little bit more.”

Severino can fill the number two spot behind Gerrit Cole in a perfect world, but he hasn’t given us a justification we need to feel confident.