Yankees: Luis Severino Must Improve In 2019

While he faced some significant struggles throughout the 2018 season, the Yankees desperately need Luis Severino to improve in 2019.

There’s no denying that Luis Severino has the talent to be the best pitcher in baseball. That much is known, especially considering he owned a league-best 1.98 ERA 18 starts into the 2018 season. But after a very disappointing 2nd-half and postseason, his status as one of the game’s best is suddenly in question. However, the bottom line is that if the Yankees intend on competing for No. 28 in 2019, Luis Severino has to pitch like the ace he can be, and consistently.

When you just look at the overall numbers, it looks like the 24-year-old Severino posted another successful season. A 19-8 record with a 3.39 ERA/2.95 FIP and a 10.39 K/9 certainly is nothing to look down upon, unless you unwrap those numbers and take a look at his performance down the stretch.

To sum it up, a 5.57 2nd-half ERA and a 3 inning/6 runs ALDS performance against Boston in a 16-1 Red Sox victory became the ultimate story of Severino’s season. The case could certainly be made that if Severino kept things under control in game three, the outcome of the Division Series might have been altered in the Yankees favor.

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With no No.1 caliber starter acquired this winter, Luis is still the Yankees’ guy. And whether the reason for his in-season decline was tipping pitches or fatigue, Severino and the Yankees have to do as much as possible to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself in 2019. At full health, the Yankees actually possess one of the more somewhat complete rotations in the league from 1-5.

  1. Luis Severino RHP
  2. James Paxton LHP
  3. Masahiro Tanaka RHP
  4. J.A. Happ LHP
  5. CC Sabathia LHP

Pitching wins playoff games. If Severino faces the same problems he dealt with in 2018, the Yankees are going to end up in the exact same place: an early postseason exit. But if he excels like he should down the stretch and into the postseason, this team could finally advance to the Fall Classic after failing to do so the past two seasons.

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