Yankees pitcher Luis Severino takes big step forward in recovery from injury

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Luis Severino
Jul 13, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) walks off the field after the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are getting healthier every day, with several players expected to make a return in mid-September. Specifically, starting pitcher, Luis Severino is ramping up his rehab process, preparing to start on Friday night for the Tarpons.

Severino has been battling a lat injury the past few weeks, being placed on a 60-day injured list. Expecting to make his first minor-league rehab start on Friday provides plenty of optimism for his return in a few weeks.

The Yankees are trying to mitigate fatigue across the board, which is why they put Severino on the 60-day IL, ruling them out until mid-September at the very earliest.

Recently, the 28-year-old starter indicated that he hasn’t felt this good all season, perfect timing for the Yankees as they prepare for the playoffs in October.

The Yankees have gotten the best out of Luis Severino:

On the season, Severino features a 3.45 ERA, 3.46 xFIP, 9.94 strikeouts per nine, and 81.2% left on base right over 86 innings pitched. He’s also produced a 43% ground ball rate, but his 15.6% HR/FB ratio leaves a bit to be desired.

Nonetheless, there’s no question that Severino can be an incredibly important factor for the Yankees come the playoffs. Specifically, he has been fantastic in the first inning of games, meaning he can fill in as a bullpen arm, even carrying the team a few innings if need be.

In the first inning, Sevy hosts a 2.25 ERA, giving up just four earned runs over 16 innings pitched.

It is nice to see Severino returning to his previous form back in 2018. He’s been utilizing his 4-seam fastball, change-up, slider, and cutter primarily this season. His fastball is generating a .204 batting average against with a 20.1% whiff rate and 15.3% put-away rate.

However, his slider is his most lethal pitch, throwing it 21.2% of the time. He is producing a .171 batting average against with a 42.3% whiff rate and 30.8% put-away rate.

In fact, his slider generates 70% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher and 13% more horizontal movement than the average. That makes it his best pitch by far and one of the best sliders in baseball.

He’s an extremely valuable asset to the team, whether it be in a starting or bullpen role, but with Frankie Montas and Nestor Cortes expected to slide in as the team’s primary options in the rotation behind Gerrit Cole in the playoffs, Severino’s role will be diminished, but that doesn’t mean he won’t play an integral part.