The New York Yankees received more bad news regarding their ace pitcher Luis Severino on Tuesday. A separate injury will sideline the starter 6-weeks.
Coming into the season, the AL East was the best division in the American League. The Boston Red Sox are coming out off of a 108 win season and a World Series Championship. The Tampa Bay Rays look like a frisky team on paper, but in actuality are very good. And then there’s the “Bronx Bombers” (aka “New York Yankees”), who had one of the best rosters coming into the season… on paper.
With superstars like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, a breakout in Gleyber Torres, a bounce-back candidate in Gary Sanchez and the 2018 Rookie of the Year runner up, Miguel Andujar, they had the best lineup in the East. That’s not to mention their pitching, who included the likes of Luis Severino, the third-place finisher in the 2017 Cy Young race, as well as Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and the newly acquired James Paxton and Adam Ottavino.
However, that pitching staff is taking a big blow. Luis Severino hadn’t thrown a pitch in Spring Training due to a shoulder injury he suffered, but now he has suffered a setback. His rotator cuff injury would have kept him out a while regardless, but now he had suffered a lat strain, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.
Adler also reported that this injury is believed to have happened separately from the shoulder injury.
Severino is widely considered one of the best, young pitchers in baseball. His 2017 season was fantastic. in 193 1/3 innings, he posted a 2.98 ERA and struck out 230 batters, a 10.7 K/9 with just 51 base on balls. His 2018 wasn’t as good, but still a very solid year. He had a 3.39 ERA with 220 in 191 1/3 innings and threw his first career shutout.
The Yankees will miss him sorely. While it’s still a very small sample size, Paxton has a 4.02 ERA in two starts, but he is striking out batters like usual with 14 in 11 innings. Tanaka has been good in his three starts ERA-wise, but he has struggled and oft-been injured since his rookie season.
While the Yankees are still primed to win the East with their star-studded lineup, their pitching will miss a huge piece until July, around when Severino will get back. The AL East race will be one of the most intriguing in baseball in 2019.