Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino takes step forward with recovery

luis severino, yankees
Jun 24, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after a strikeout to end the top of the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are slowly getting healthier as mid-September approaches. The team is expected to get back several impact players, including Harrison Bader, Nestor Cortes, and Luis Severino.

Severino was placed on the 60-day IL with a lat issue, an unexpected injury but one management wanted to be cautious with.

Severino was not happy they put him on the IL, believing he could’ve returned earlier. However, the Yankees wanted to mitigate fatigue for one of their top pitchers down the stretch, especially since he’s expected to make a significant impact come the playoffs.

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The Yankees gained some good news on Friday, with Severino starting a rehab assignment with single-A Tampa.

Per the Yankees:

Today, RHP Luis Severino commences a rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa.

On the season, Severino hosts a 3.45 ERA, 3.46 xFIP, 9.94 strikeouts per nine, an 81.2% left on-base rate, and 43% ground ball rate. He also hosts a 15.6% HR/FB ratio but has otherwise been effective over 86 innings. This is the first time since 2018 that he’s crossed a threshold of more than 12 innings, indicating his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

It is also positive to see that Severino’s velocity is back, averaging out at 96.1 mph with his fastball, which is generating a .204 batting average against with a 20.1% whiff rate and 15.3% put-away rate. He also incorporates a change-up, slider, and cutter into his pitch sequence. His slider is generating a .171 batting average with a 42.3% whiff rate and 30.8% put-away rate.

The expectation is that Severino won’t be utilized as a key starting pitcher in the playoffs but rather a bullpen arm who can cover multiple innings if need be.

Severino recently stated that he hasn’t felt this good the entire season, which is great news for a Yankee team that is currently battling adversity.