The New York Yankees triumphed over the San Diego Padres on Saturday afternoon 3-2, with Luis Severino delivering a second striking performance.
Although the offense did barely enough to tip the balance, owing to an extra innings base hit from Isiah Kiner-Falefa, it was Severino who truly captured the spotlight.
Severino, the 29-year-old starter, recently made a comeback from a lat injury, having missed the first 40 games of the regular season. However, since his return, he has been simply impeccable, offering much-needed support to the Yankees’ rotation.
In his debut against the Cincinnati Reds the previous Sunday, Severino pitched 4.2 innings, conceding just a single earned run. He followed this up with another exceptional performance, allowing one earned run over 6.2 innings.
A single poor pitch resulted in a homer to left-centerfield by Fernando Tatís Jr., but apart from that, Severino was electrifying, doing more than enough to rest the Yankees’ bullpen and provide opportunities for the offense to score.
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The Yankees are seeing the best of Luis Severino early:
With Severino’s fastball nearly reaching a hundred, it’s safe to say he’s back in form. His 1.59 ERA and 10 strikeouts across 11.1 innings indicate he’s regained his momentum after an extended absence.
Though the sample size is small, Severino hasn’t allowed a hard hit from any opposing batter, with a maximum exit velocity allowed of 93.7 mph and an average exit velocity of 81.9 mph.
While Severino still needs to perfect his slider, he’s been heavily dependent on his four-seam fastball, using it 58.7% of the time and yielding a .250 average against. His slider, which gave him trouble during spring training, continues to have some issues.
Fortunately, his change-up, used 21.3% of the time, has been deadly, without yielding a hit from that particular pitch. Moreover, Severino’s four-seam fastball is generating 13% more horizontal movement, enabling it to tail away from lefties and toward righties, thus provoking weak contact.
The return of one of their leading pitchers has certainly invigorated the Yankees, and with his skills appearing to be in All-Star shape, the Bombers are hopeful he can maintain his dominant start following his extended injury.
Given that Severino’s club option was exercised at $15 million this season, he aims to put together a solid 2023 and use it as leverage for a much more substantial contract.
Of course, due to his inconsistent health history, the Yankees might be hesitant to offer him a long-term deal, but there’s no doubt he can make a significant impact in the future.