Yankees refuse to demote one of their worst starting pitchers

mlb: baltimore orioles at new york yankees, luis severino
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ recent series against the Chicago White Sox ended in disappointment, raising questions about Luis Severino’s future as a starting pitcher. Below, we explore Severino’s recent struggles, his performance statistics, and what this means for the Yankees moving forward.

A Disappointing Series Against the White Sox

Losing two of three games to the Chicago White Sox, the Yankees were dealt a significant blow, particularly after a 9-2 defeat on Wednesday. This outcome has led to critical evaluations regarding Severino’s future role in the rotation.

Luis Severino’s Struggles: A Closer Look

Inconsistent Performance in 2023

The 29-year-old Severino, who had his player option picked up at $15 million for the 2023 season, has struggled with inconsistency this year. Despite a strong 2022 campaign with a 3.18 ERA and nearly 10 strikeouts per nine over 102 innings, 2023 has been challenging:

  • ERA: 8.06
  • xFIP: 5.13
  • Strikeouts per nine: 7.92
  • Left on-base rate: 62.4%
  • Ground ball rate: 39.6%
  • Walks and homers: Most in his career

These figures are indicative of Severino’s difficulties this season.

Troubles in July

Severino’s July has been particularly problematic, with an 11.22 ERA, 27 earned runs across 21.2 innings, and seven homers. He has given up at least one home run in seven consecutive starts, further signaling that a change might be needed after the 2023 season.

The Opener Strategy’s Failure

The Yankees attempted to use an opener to support Severino, but it failed to alleviate his 13.85 ERA in the first inning. His subsequent innings have not been better, suggesting a reevaluation of his role.

“He’s been a really good pitcher in this league,” Aaron Boone said of Severino. “He’s also missed time with injuries and he’s a confident and mature guy. But with that said, when you’re going through something like this, it’s hard. He’s searching too.”

A Possible Successor: Randy Vasquez

The Yankees may consider 24-year-old prospect Randy Vasquez as a replacement for Severino. Vasquez has shown promise:

  • ERA: 1.17 over 15.1 innings
  • Three quality starts for the Yankees
  • Left-on-base rate: 96.6
  • Good pitch location

Despite occasional issues with walks, Vasquez’s positive performance provides a strong argument for his promotion.

Looking to the Future: Prospects over Struggling Veterans

At this stage, the Yankees may benefit from leveraging their prospects instead of relying on struggling veterans like Severino. Injuries and a significant drop in pitch quality have further emphasized the need for fresh talent.

Severino’s Fall and the Yankees’ Next Move

Once considered an up-and-coming talent, Luis Severino’s career has been derailed by injuries and inconsistent performance. The recent series against the White Sox may have been the last straw, leading to consideration of a replacement like Randy Vasquez. As the 2023 season unfolds, the Yankees must face the reality of moving on from a homegrown talent like Severino, reflecting on minimal production and looking towards a more promising future.

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