Yankees likely lose former All-Star pitcher for rest of 2023 season

mlb: milwaukee brewers at new york yankees, luis severino
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees suffered their second consecutive loss on Friday night, this time at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers, opening up a new series on a down note. All eyes were on starting pitcher Luis Severino, who had been riding a wave of recent success. However, the night took a dismal turn as Severino was forced to leave the game after just four innings due to an apparent injury — the Yankees placed him on the 15-day IL on Saturday morning.

Severino’s Uncertain Future: Could This Be His Last Season in Pinstripes?

Post-game, Severino clearly looked to be in discomfort, casting shadows over his 2023 season’s continuation. There’s increasing speculation that he may have thrown his last pitch for the Yankees, especially with free agency looming. It’s a significant downturn for the 29-year-old, who had a stellar bounce-back season in 2022, boasting a 3.18 ERA, 3.38 xFIP, and nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings. Additional key stats from his previous year include an 80% left-on-base rate and a 44.3% ground ball rate.

Next Man Up: The Yankees Look to Young Arms

With Severino’s season likely on ice, the Yankees will pivot toward their younger pitching talent. While Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez could potentially step up, eyes are on 24-year-old Clayton Beeter, recently promoted to Triple-A, for a possible MLB debut.

Clayton Beeter: A Rising Star in the Making?

Beeter has shown promise in Double-A this year, registering a 2.08 ERA across 60.2 innings, along with 11.27 strikeouts per nine innings. He also has an impressive 87.4% left-on-base rate and a 41.7% ground ball rate.

However, his Triple-A stats tell a different story: a 5.89 ERA, 10.15 strikeouts per nine, a 73.4% left-on-base rate, and a 29.8% ground ball rate. Despite a recent rough outing—seven earned runs over 4.1 innings—Beeter had solid performances in three of his last four games, allowing just four combined runs over the previous 15 innings.

Beeter’s Potential: The Fastball and the Slider

The Yankees have been keeping a close eye on Beeter, particularly for his slider, which has been a game-changer. Working diligently on improving his curveball, Beeter has been developing a fastball that ranges between 93–96 mph, occasionally touching 98 mph. His fastball has a unique upward carry, which can be tricky for opposing batters to navigate.

Role Considerations: Starter or Bullpen for Beeter?

While Beeter has primarily served as a starter in the minor leagues, his exceptional skill set could also make him a valuable bullpen asset. His Triple-A performance has been a mixed bag, but that could simply be a symptom of hitting the minor-league wall. A call-up to the majors might be exactly what he needs.

The Road Ahead: Prospects and Roster Decisions for 2024

As the Yankees shift their focus toward developing players for the 2024 season, promoting Beeter to fill Severino’s spot could be on the horizon. With roster spots up for grabs, the Yankees have the luxury to experiment, providing a prime opportunity for emerging talents like Beeter to prove their worth.

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