New York Yankee News: What’s going on with pitcher Luis Severino? updates here

Among the New York Yankees injuries, this spring was Yankee star pitcher Luis Severino’s pitching elbow.  Severino suffered soreness in his elbow.  After doctors gave Severino an M.R.I. with dye contrast, which requires the injection of a chemical substance that improves the quality of the images. From that examination, Dr. Christopher Ahmad, the Yankees’ head physician, and Dr. David Altchek, who provided a second opinion, determined that Severino needed Tommy John surgery for a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

The Tommy John surgery will keep Severino out of 2020 pitching rotation if there is a season this year and possibly the start of the 2021 season.  The late start of a 2020 season has lessened the impact of his absence, just like the same loss has not allowed the New York Yankees to take advantage of their new pitching ace Gerrit Cole.

At the time of his decision, he made this statement:

“I am extremely disappointed that I will not be able to put on a Yankees uniform and compete with my teammates this year,” Severino said in a statement on Tuesday, “but I promise that I will be working tirelessly during this process to come back stronger than ever to make the greatest fans in baseball proud.”

He feels good and is progressing with his early rehab.  In fact, recently, he and his pregnant wife had a once in a lifetime experience as the two agreed to do an underwater photoshoot.  His wife Rosmaly, who’s pregnant with the couple’s second child obviously took part in the epic reveal.  Famous New York photographer Jose Guerra took some stunning shots of the couple underwater.  You can see from the cover photo Luis is beautifully bearded.

Severino is also reported to have starting tossing a baseball.  Luis Severino is one of the New York Yankees to stay at the New York Yankees training facility at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  After his operation, he said:

“I’ve been down in Tampa since the day after I had my surgery,” Severino said. “I do arm bike, dumbbell exercises, and I just follow the routine that [trainers] Timmy [Lentych] and Alfonso [Malaguti] plan out for me. I spend an hour and half with them in the trainer’s room before I move into the gym, every day, five days a week. Things have been progressing well. I’ve been making steady progress — lifting, doing exercises. Since three months ago — I think when I first had my surgery — I feel way better. I’m doing everything I need to do right now so that I can start throwing this summer.’’

Obviously, with the spectacular photos of he and his wife, he has been doing other things too.  The New York Yankees hope that Severino will be ready to pitch when the 2021 season starts as he will add to a potent rotation of Gerrit Cole and Domingo German, who will also return from suspension.

New York Yankees: Luis Severino to start throwing this summer, injury update

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees once again suffered through the injury bug during spring training this year, watching their entire outfield miss time and succumb to rehabilitation programs. However, the outfield wasn’t the only unit that was affected tremendously, the starting pitching was also hit hard with various elements.

James Paxton was forced to have surgery to remove a cyst from his lower back and Luis Severino underwent Tommy John surgery to repair damage in his elbow. The loss of Severino was massive and would have affected the 2020 season significantly if everything went as normal. Since a season still might not even a car, and if it does, it will be significantly shortened, Severino’s absence will be as hurtful.

Nonetheless, Severino has been “progressing well” in his recovery, according to MLB.com is Bryan Hoch.

While he’s still expected to miss the entire 2020 season, he should be able to return early on in 2021. He is scheduled to begin a throwing program this summer after working out intensely for the last few months.

“I’ve been down in Tampa since the day after I had my surgery,” Severino said. “I do arm bike, dumbbell exercises, and I just follow the routine that [trainers] Timmy [Lentych] and Alfonso [Malaguti] plan out for me. I spend an hour and half with them in the trainer’s room before I move into the gym, every day, five days a week. Things have been progressing well. I’ve been making steady progress — lifting, doing exercises. Since three months ago — I think when I first had my surgery — I feel way better. I’m doing everything I need to do right now so that I can start throwing this summer.’’

Who will step in to fill Luis Severino’s role for the New York Yankees?

In the absence of the Yankees’ No. 2 pitcher behind Gerrit Cole, the rotation will be supplemented by J.A. Happ, who has one year remaining on his deal, Jordan Montgomery, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, and a bevy of younger alternatives. Options like Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt could see opportunities in a shortened season was an expanded roster.

New York Yankees: Luis Severino’s latest health update

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

While our own Alex Wilson explained here that the New York Yankees haven’t had any luck in Luis Severino’s long-term deal since he has been injured most of the time after inking the contract, reports from his progress so far after undergoing Tommy John surgery are positive. He will miss the whole season (if there is any) and return next year with an eye on returning to the level that made him one of the best starters in the American League until not so long ago.

Actually, the Yankees’ starter is among the players that chose to stay at George M. Steinbrenner Field for workouts in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. He said that, so far, everything is going as planned following the TJ surgery performed on him in February.

“Of course it’s frustrating, but this year has been a frustrating year for everybody. So right now, I’m just focused on trying to be healthy for next year,” Severino told the New York Post (seen here at MLB.com) via email. “With everything that’s been going on, there hasn’t been any baseball. But right now, there are more things to worry about than playing baseball, you know, like the health of everyone and staying safe. I’m just focused on the day to day.”

The Yankees seem to think that Severino’s partially torn ulnar collateral ligament is originally from last season start against the Astros in the American League Championship Series, specifically, in Game Three.

The Yankees will miss him this year

Since the usual recovery time frame from Tommy John surgery is between 12 to 18 months, Severino could miss part of the 2021 season, too.

“I’ve been down in Tampa since the day after I had my surgery,” Severino said. “I do arm bike, dumbbell exercises, and I just follow the routine that [trainers] Timmy [Lentych] and Alfonso [Malaguti] plan out for me. I spend an hour and half with them in the trainer’s room before I move into the gym, every day, five days a week.

“Things have been progressing well. I’ve been making steady progress — lifting, doing exercises. Since three months ago — I think when I first had my surgery — I feel way better. I’m doing everything I need to do right now so that I can start throwing this summer.’’

Other rehabbing players in the New York Yankees’ roster have joined Sevy in Tampa, such as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, while Miguel Andújar, Mike Ford, J.A. Happ, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade have been spotted at the facility.

For now, he knows that he won’t be pitching in games for a while, but he’s doing everything in his power to regain health, slowly but surely.

“Of course, it’s disappointing, but I want to look long term,” Severino said. “I want to be healthy for a long time. So I want to use this year — and last year — to get better, listen to my body. Of course, I was mad at that time [of the injuries], but right now I just want to worry about getting healthy again and having a long career.”

Do the New York Yankees have a Luis Severino problem?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

When the New York Yankees extended starting pitcher Luis Severino on a four-year, $40 million deal, they didn’t imagine he would play in just three total games over two seasons. He began to feel discomfort in his elbow during the post-season in 2019, which ultimately resulted in him undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Yankees expected Severino and new ace Gerrit Cole to feature as one of the leagues best one-two punches, but that reality will have to wait.

The last time Severino showed elite quality was in 2018 when he posted a 3.39 ERA and was voted an All-Star. He ranked ninth in Cy Young award voting, posting 220 total strikeouts and allowing 19 homers over 191.1 innings. However, his 2017 season was even better, after posting a 2.98 ERA, with 230 strikeouts and allowing 21 homers.

Seemingly, it seems as if the Yankees’ faith in long-term extensions has backfired significantly. This can be attributed to the previous strength and conditioning regimen, who the Yankees recently shook up in favor of Eric Cressey, who is known for his ability to rehabilitate players and sustain their health.

Severino, though, has now undergone two consecutive seasons of serious injuries, and it could cause a problem for the Yankees, who owe him $10.75 million in 2021. Luckily, the team has a club option 2023, that would include a $2.7 million buyout. If he bounces back strong and shows his previous form, the Yankees might not defer his $15 million salary in year five of his club option-season.

The New York Yankees have a very strong starting rotation, when healthy:

The Yankees have one of the best starting rotations in baseball when everyone is healthy, consisting of Cole, Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, and a bevy of younger starters. With the 2020 season in jeopardy, they could be looking to the free-agent market to replace some expiring talents. Tanaka, Happ, and Paxton will be free agents after the 2021 season.

Even a shortened season would give the Yankees some sort of security and idea going into the off-season regarding potential extensions with these three players. Tanaka has been a stud in the postseason but has gradually fallen off due to age.

I believe they will let Tanaka and Happ walk, with Paxton potentially earning a few more years on his deal if he returns to some degree this season. Ultimately, they need to see some sort of progress from Paxton after undergoing lower back surgery to remove a cyst.

Nonetheless, Severino is an enticing piece that could be utilized in a trade down the road. His team-friendly deal could come in handy if he shows some sort of progress in 2021. Obviously, if he performs well, the Yankees will keep him, given the fact that Happ is earning $17 million, and Luis is hovering just about $10 million. But, everything is still up in the air, and with team owners and the players union negotiating financials, there is a possibility the 2020 season could be canceled altogether.

Several members of the New York Yankees are helping Pedro Martinez’s “Step Up To The Plate” fund against COVID-19

New York Yankees

Some things are bigger than a rivalry. In this case, the battle against coronavirus should be the world’s number one priority, and Pedro Martinez, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees perfectly understand that.

The former ace is coming through one last time, but this time, it isn’t in the mound. Martinez and several MLB stars, including some current members of the New York Yankees roster, are uniting forces to combat the deadly disease that, to this day, refuses to go away.

Marly Rivera of ESPN reported that the Pedro Martinez Foundation has recently created the “Step Up To The Plate” fund and has raised $550,000 in the battle against the COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic.

The virus not only has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives worldwide but also has halted the planet’s economy and even the baseball season.

Several Yankees are helping out

Among the current Yankees players joining the initiative are starter Luis Severino and catcher Gary Sanchez. Former Yankee Dellin Betances and former Red Sox legend David Ortiz are also part of the noble cause.

Regarding the return of baseball, Pedro said that, as reported by NJ.com, that he has talked to Commissioner Rob Manfred and all parts want to return as quickly as possible.

“As of right now, it’s unclear how we will get to play this season, but the commissioner reassured us that we will have baseball this year. In speaking with him, my perception was that one of the things they will do is limit the amount of personnel inside stadiums, and in the beginning, games will likely be played without fans. The commissioner also told us that players’ health and safety will be paramount, and I feel confident that their well-being will never be put in jeopardy. MLB and the MLBPA have some of the best staffs in the world. They know how to run a business, and I am sure they will take all the precautions necessary to be able to play this season,” Pedro said to Rivera.

Did the New York Yankees make a mistake extending Luis Severino?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

Taking a look at Luis Severino and if the New York Yankees made a mistake extending him for four years.

When the Yankees offered Luis Severino a four-year, $40 million contract in 2019, most believed it was a good deal. At just 25-years-old and plenty of potential left to be extracted from the starting pitcher, $10 million per season was a steal.

Hindsight is always 20/20, indicating that nobody could have predicted the second injury in 2020. Severino succumbed to Tommy John surgery this off-season after feeling discomfort in the final postseason game against the Houston Astros.

Having just pitched three total games last season, Severino was set back significantly. Having pitched more than 191 innings consecutively in 2017 and 2018, backing it up with a 12 inning performance last year was not the developmental step the Yankees anticipated him taking. He was expected to bounce back after a solid postseason performance, but with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down MLB operations and Severino set to miss the entire campaign regardless, the Yankees are now looking back and wondering about their extension offerings.

Will Severino ever become the pitcher they know he can be, or will he fall into a pit of development where he never reaches his potential?

Realistically, at 26-years-old, the Dominican Republic native has plenty of time to reach his potential and find his rhythm once again. He was projected to earn $10.5 million this year and slowly increase by no more than $750K. The Yankees have a 2023 club-option that includes a $2.75 million buy-out if they wish to pick that up. At that point, Luis will be 30-years-old and count $15 million against the salary.

So was Severino’s extension justified? I believe so.

Ten million per season doesn’t even compare to the amount they are paying J.A. Happ. Happ is earning $17 million per year, a significant more than Severino, but should indicate how positive this deal really is. If Severino can return and reach his peak performance, the Yankees will have a dominant starter on a team-friendly contract.

Unfortunately, the word “if” is often referred to in this circumstance.

New York Yankees: A look at contract extensions for Yankee players, what you need to know

New York Yankees fans have wondered from time to time why the Yankees haven’t locked up young talents like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and others.  The answer is likely to surprise fans; it doesn’t have that much to do with the player, it’s the owner.  Plain and straightforward, Yankee owner and managing partner Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t believe in it.  That’s not to be said that it hasn’t been done, but it does suggest why the Yankees engage in contract extensions so seldom.

This past year was an exception.  Aaron Hicks was a season away from free agency at the time, though the outfielder chose to forego the open market in favor of a new contract that paid him $64M in new money through the 2025 season.  Hicks will reportedly receive a $2MM signing bonus in addition to a $6MM salary in 2019 before earning $10.5MM annually from 2020-23 and $9.5MM in 2024-25. The club option is said to be valued at $12.5MM (with a $1MM buyout), and while Hicks doesn’t have any no-trade protection on the deal, he’d receive a $1MM assignment bonus upon being traded.

Ace Luis Severino inked a four-year, $40M deal that covered his four arbitration-eligible years as a Super Two player, and the agreement also contains a $15M club option for the 2023 season, which would have been Severino’s first free-agent year.   The New York Yankee also arranged a contract extension for Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees designated closer.  Chapman declined his opt-out in this contract in favor of a contract extension that will bring him $48 million over three years.  It gives him another $18 million in the last two years of the extended contract.

Going back to Steinbrenner’s dislike for contract extensions, the New York Yankees have only given extensions six times in the last eighteen years.   One was for CC Sabathia, who, like Chapman, waved his opt-out in favor of a $122 million extension in 2011.  Another was the extension for outfielder Brett Gardner who, before his free agency in 2014, accepted a contract extension worth $52 million over four years.  Gardner also just signed a new contract that will keep him a Yankee for another two years. The last year of his new contract includes an opt-out and buy out.

The main reason for Hal Steinbrenner’s distaste for extensions is that all of baseball remains so fluid these days.  The market for free agents continually changes from year to year and avoiding extensions tends to give the club more options on a yearly basis. An example of that is that if fans got their way last year and the Yankees locked up Judge, Sanchez, and Andujar to long term contracts, It would have most likely not have allowed the Yankees to go out during this offseason and acquire Gerrit Cole for $324 million over the next nine years.

Back in 2010 Steinbrenner in an interview with the Associated Press, he shed light on the subject:

“I just don’t believe in contract extensions, and that’s throughout the organization, no matter who it is.  Hopefully nobody takes that personally. It’s just business.”

He also added that it’s just against company policy.   Some good examples supporting that is when star player Derek Jeter came up for an extension, it wasn’t offered.  Instead, Jeter went into free agency and eventually signed a new contract after some hard negotiations.  The same is true of superstar closer Mariano Rivera he went onto the open market before signing a new contract with the Yankees.

During this offseason, the Yankees not only did not offer any contract extension but did not take up any of the player’s options, instead negotiating with them separately for new contracts.  Don’t look for the New York Yankees to be issuing any contract extensions in the near future, especially to Aaron Judge or Gary Sanchez, who both have long term injury issues.  If there is another exception to the rule, that would most likely be issued to DJ LeMahieu last year’s MVP, who will become a free agent after this season.

In the case of James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka, both who are aging, it is likely that any new contract that the Yankees make with them will be made after the season has concluded if there is a baseball season this year.

 

 

The New York Yankees don’t need to supplement the 5th man in the rotation anymore

New York Yankees, James Paxton

This offseason has been one of the strangest in our collective lifetime, starting with the injury bug striking the New York Yankees before Grapefruit League play even began and ended with the MLB halting operations due to the coronavirus.

Players have been holes up in Tampa for the time being, recovering from injuries, and participating in socially distanced informal workouts. However, this time has been essential for some of the Yankees injured starters (this is not meant to degrade the situation going on around the world, we are aware and sending positivity to everyone affected), especially lefty pitcher, James Paxton.

When Luis Severino was initially ruled out for the entire 2020 season, Paxton followed close behind with a cyst in his lower back that required surgery. His expected return date was in early-May, and he seems to be on track to return to baseball form.

The loss of both starters for what seemed to be an extended period of time was projected to hurt the rotation, especially at the back end, with unproven players set to fill in in the meantime. However, options like Jonathan Loaisiga played well this spring, showing they could take over the spot with ease.

The Yankees will dodge a bullet with the extension of the regular season, as their starting rotation will likely be cemented with adequate talent.

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. James Paxton
  3. Masahiro Tanaka
  4. JA Happ
  5. Jordan Montgomery

Happ remains the most significant question mark in 2020 after posting an abysmal 4.91 ERA with a career-high 34 homers allows last season. As one of the Yankees’ better arms in 2018, Happ backed his solid year up with a massive dud, being entirely ignored in the postseason and playing just a few innings as a relief option.

The Yanks desperately need him to return to his previous form, as he logged a 3.65 ERA in 2018, which would have been the best number on the team last season. Now, it’s fair to mention that he started just 11 games for New York while starting 20 with Toronto. It can often be problematic for pitchers to adapt to the Bronx on short notice.

How can we keep the Yankees off the IL?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

Since the very beginning of spring training for the New York Yankees we already started to wonder, does the “ next man up “ mantra continue into 2020? 

Right now it feels like déjà vu, with 5 players already out with injuries, including big name players like Right Fielder Aaron Judge, starter Luis Severino (who is recovering from Tommy John surgery) and former NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.  

The injury bug hit the Yankees hard last year sending 37 players to the IL in 30 IL stints. Still the Yankees were able to overcome all the injuries and finished with over 100 wins last season.  

Following the record breaking number of injured players last year, the Yankees fired their strength and conditioning staff. Now a days players seem to be getting hurt a lot more often. The days of high consecutive games played seems to be in the past. 

So how could we keep these players on the field and off the IL ?

We know our players love to hit the gym and lift weights to stay in shape, but what about yoga? I know yoga might be the last thing you would think players with big frames like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton should be doing. But really the question should be why not yoga? 

Will we see Yankees on the Yoga mat?

Yoga works on your core, agility, endurance, strength and most importantly flexibility, which helps prevent injuries. 

For years professional athletes and teams have been using yoga to improve their game and prevent injuries. Big name players in the NFL and NBA like Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and even New York Jets Quarterback Sam Darnold.

I think the Yankees can really benefit from this and maybe should add this into their routine. 

Opening day was set to start a week from today, but has now been pushed back to a date that has not been determined yet. With there being a delayed start to the season, maybe we will see Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton Opening Day after all. And maybe they can all use this extra time to work on some yoga. 

Hopefully baseball will be back soon. And I’m hoping you all stay safe. 

New York Yankees Opening Day Predictions: Pitching

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

As we inch our way closer and closer to the start of the regular season, speculations abound about who will cut the New York Yankees. With Severino, Paxton, and German all-seeing delays to their seasons (in Severino’s case, completely losing 2020), it’ll be interesting to see just how the team constructs their rotation between now and the end of German’s suspension.

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Don’t Go the Opener Route

The Yankees have been out in the open over their embrace of analytics. Which is why it was so confusing to see the Yankees (or any team) go the route of the opener. The opener runs completely against the notion of analytics in any professional sport. Throughout a 162 game season, you’re going to rest a reliever for throwing an inning of work on three consecutive nights. If this happens the night before an opener appearance, you set yourself back for the opener, as opener starts are all hands on deck, ever 4th or 5th day in 162 games. Their bullpen has been overused in 3 consecutive seasons, giving out during the playoffs when we need them the most. Treat the pen like a bullpen, and we’ll get back to the fall classic.

The Gimmies

Gerrit Cole is starting for the Yankees. He’s the best starting pitcher in baseball, and look at all the money the Yankees gave him?! Barring the start against the Tigers, he’s having an excellent Spring Training.

Masahiro Tanaka is also a gimme. The 7-year veteran loses his effectiveness around the All-Star break, and with the lack of depth in our rotation from last year makes the final year of his deal a necessity that he started.

JA Happ is having an excellent spring. So much so that people are forgetting entirely about how lackluster he was last season. If he can carry this into the regular season till, about, June, that’s all we need from him.

Jordan Montgomery is performing beyond expectations. I was surprised to see how much the Yankees are letting Monty cut loose, but it’s necessary for not only his development but the security of the rotation depends on it.

Can Garcia Make the Jump?

Deivi Garcia was spared the first round of cuts, putting him squarely in the fight between him, Loaisiga, and Cessa for the 5th spot in the rotation. Garcia ended 2019 in Scranton, but can he impress enough in the last few starts of the spring to leapfrog staples in the pen-like Loaisiga and Cessa? Or will this be Luis Cessa’s opportunity to show what he truly has as a starter? I think it will ultimately boil down to those two.

Let’s see what happens in the next 2.5 weeks.