Yankees get major starting pitching boost after shutout win over Toronto

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

When Luis Severino stepped on the mound for his first performance of the 2022 season, the Yankees knew he would have a few hiccups along the way. Severino lasted just 3.0 innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs, with the majority of the opposing production coming from a two-run homer in the 2nd inning. Alex Verdugo’s blast was the one stain on any otherwise decent outing from Severino, who had only pitched 18 innings over the past three years combined.

Severino silenced the doubters on Thursday night, carrying his weight over five innings and blanking a strong Blue Jays lineup. In fact, just a day prior, ace Gerrit Cole allowed two homers to Vlad Guerroro Jr., tallying his second consecutive inconsistent game of the season. Severino, however, is already showing tremendous progress with his location.

Over his 5.0 inning sample size, Sevy gave up two hits, two walks, and struck out six batters.

“I’ve been away for a long time,” Severino said. “I want to go out there, compete and show the fans I still have it.”

In the 1st inning, Severino plunked Lourdes Gurriel on the left hand with a 98 mph fastball, which sparked a short exchange between the Yankees’ starter and the Blue Jays dugout. Thankfully, it didn’t escalate to anything serious, but Severino managed to come out on top of the minor hostility.

His fastball is averaging 98mph on the season, which would be a career-high. As the year continues, his velocity will slowly decrease due to fatigue, but it’s very exciting to see him return to his normal self, even touching triple-digits with his FB.

This season, the Yankees invested a lot of optimism in Severino, deciding not to inject any more assets into the rotation, which was a bold move from GM Brian Cashman. Sevy being plugged into the No. 2 spot was always a risky move, but it’s proving to be a good one so far. If Luis can blank a strong Toronto squad, it’s fair to say he’s still got “it.”

The last time the veteran started enjoyed a positive season, Severino was 25 years old in 2018. Following multiple surgeries on his elbow and a myriad of minor issues, Severino has defeated all odds and is seemingly on track to become one of the team’s impact players.