Yankees’ former All-Star pitcher desperately trying to earn extension

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees, luis severino
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are eyeing the 2024 season and the fast-approaching winter as a crucial period to rejuvenate a team that has faced several setbacks. Despite a series of poor trades and acquisitions in recent years, General Manager Brian Cashman seems poised for another shot at course correction.

One of the most significant areas that will undergo changes is the starting rotation. With three players potentially hitting free agency or leaving the team altogether, the Yankees have some hard decisions to make.

Domingo German and Frankie Montas: Uncertain Futures

Domingo German’s future with the Yankees looks grim, as he’s been placed on the restricted list due to alcohol abuse issues. On the other hand, Frankie Montas is recovering from shoulder surgery and could potentially secure a one-year deal. However, Montas can’t exactly be viewed as a reliable, long-term asset for the rotation.

Luis Severino’s Rollercoaster Season: An Unexpected Turn

Up until a fortnight ago, the possibility of extending Luis Severino seemed far-fetched given his career-worst performance this season. Yet, Severino has surprised everyone with back-to-back dominating outings against the Washington Nationals and the Detroit Tigers. These exceptional performances have suddenly brought the idea of a one-year deal into the conversation.

Against the Nationals on August 23, Severino threw 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing only a single hit and striking out two. He was equally impressive against the Tigers, delivering seven scoreless innings with just five hits allowed and eight strikeouts. Notably, he tossed 99 pitches, the highest he’s thrown since July 23.

A Deep Dive into Severino’s Stats

Severino’s season stats, however, have been less than stellar. Boasting a 6.64 ERA, 4.91 xFIP, and 7.86 strikeouts per nine innings over 81.1 innings, he has also displayed a 64.9% left-on-base rate and a 41.8% ground ball rate. Worryingly, he’s giving up 3.54 walks per nine innings and 2.21 home runs per line—among the highest numbers in his career.

Yet, Severino has shown a marked improvement in August, posting a 4.56 ERA over 23.2 innings and allowing just 12 earned runs. These metrics substantially surpass his pre-All-Star break stats, making the decision to part ways with him less straightforward for Cashman.

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The Challenge of Replacing Three Starting Pitchers

The daunting task of replacing three starting pitchers looms large, making it plausible that either Montas or Severino might get a reprieve, even if it’s just on a one-year deal that they could parlay into a long-term contract.

What Lies Ahead for Severino and the Yankees

With roughly a month left in the regular season, the Yankees are keen to see whether Severino can continue his upward trajectory. The focus will be on the quality of his pitching and rebuilding his confidence as the offseason approaches.