It’s the harsh reality the Yankees hoped wouldn’t come out to be, but it may be best for everyone involved. Once heralded as a potential No. 1 starter with electric stuff, Luis Severino’s future may not entail what the Yankees always envisioned.
After being called up following last year’s trade deadline, Severino showed flashes of the dominant starting pitcher he could be, finishing the year with a 5-3 record to go along with a very impressive 2.89 ERA.
When you consider Severino lost two out of his first three career decisions, and received a no-decision in the other, the Yankees went 6-2 in his remaining eight starts of 2015 and Severino went 5-1 and added two more no-decisions.
Entering spring training this season, Joe Girardi had Severino penciled into the starting rotation, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. He went 0-6 with an atrocious 7.46 ERA in his first seven starts of the season before landing on the disabled list in late May with a right triceps strain.
He returned to the team on July 27th making three relief appearances. In those appearances, Severino pitched a combined 8.1 innings giving up no runs, one hit and striking out ten, which led to Joe Girardi reinserting him back into the starting rotation.
The results reverted. Severino gave up five runs in 4.1 innings in his first start since coming off the DL against the Red Sox, and made another start five days later against the Rays surrendering seven runs in just 3.2 innings. Back to the minors he went.
Severino was called back up on September 1st as the rosters expanded to 40 players, and since his return, he’s made three relief appearances pitching a total of six innings and giving up one hit, no runs and striking out six.
His best performance was his latest one when he shut down the potent Blue Jays’ offense for three innings after taking over for Bryan Mitchell to preserve a 2-0 Yankees win and help complete a sweep of Toronto.
Girardi summoned Severino after Mitchell had given up a lead-off double to open the top of the sixth and Severino got the Yankees out of the jam unscathed. In total out of the bullpen this season, Severino has pitched 14.1 innings and hasn’t given up a run (0.00 ERA).
Some guys’ mentalities are just better suited for the bullpen, and when Luis Severino gets the call, he brings an aura of defiance against the opposing team with him. The same can’t be said for when he’s that day’s starting pitcher.
Like Mariano Rivera, Andrew Miller, Zach Britton and Dellin Betances (failed starters who turned into dominant relievers) before him, the bullpen is looking more and more like the place Severino will call his future home.