Yankees refusing to demote 7.98 ERA pitcher

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees, luis severino
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have faced a turbulent 2023 season, primarily due to their starting rotation’s inconsistencies and offensive woes. Injuries and erratic performances have defined this tumultuous run. Yet, amidst the overwhelming challenges, the Yankees remain unwavering in their decision to offer Luis Severino continued chances in the rotation.

Severino’s Disheartening Season

Luis Severino, in his pivotal contract year, is arguably trudging through the most challenging season of his career. At the age of 29, his stats paint a bleak picture: a 7.98 ERA, a 5.12 xFIP, and an average of 8.11 strikeouts per nine innings.

Furthermore, Severino’s figures reveal an alarming 862.1% left-on-base rate, coupled with a 40.4% ground ball rate. His current form sees him walking close to four batters every nine innings and conceding an unprecedented 2.66 home runs per nine, highlighted by a concerning 22.5% HR/FB ratio.

Diving deeper into his performance, August saw Severino complete three starts, yielding a 10.80 ERA and 12 earned runs over just 10 innings. Astonishingly, this wasn’t his lowest point. July witnessed him endure an 11.22 ERA across 21.2 innings, surrendering a staggering 27 earned runs.

Boone’s Perspective on Severino’s Form

The Yankees toyed with the idea of reassigning Severino to the bullpen. However, dwindling starting options have anchored them to persist with him in their lineup.

When probed on this matter, Manager Aaron Boone commented on Friday, “That’s been on the table with what he’s been going through.” Boone’s recent remarks, post an appearance where Severino yielded three earned runs and two home runs in just four innings, raised eyebrows. Boone emphasized that he observed significant improvements, a statement seemingly at odds with the stats. “I do feel like his last outing…was in a lot of ways the best version of Sevy we’ve seen in a long time,” he elucidated.

The Yankees are now gearing up for Severino to take the mound against the Nationals post their series conclusion with the Red Sox on Sunday.

The Yankees are Leaning on Youth

While Severino remains in focus, there’s a growing chorus suggesting Randy Vasquez’s inclusion as a weekly starter. The 24-year-old, post a commendable performance, was surprisingly demoted back to Triple-A. Vasquez’s promising stats include a 2.42 ERA and an impressive 92.4% left-on-base rate over 22.1 innings. A larger sample size might determine if he could emerge as a vital asset for the Yankees in 2024 and beyond.

Jhony Brito’s recent performance against the Red Sox might suggest he needs further refinement. However, there’s a silver lining in the quality of his pitches. The primary concerns remain his propensity to walk batters and sporadic command issues.

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