Luis Severino made his long-awaited return to the bump Tuesday night. Is his performance from earlier this week something to expect in the Postseason?
Tuesday night, at about 6:30 P.M. Eastern time, New York Yankees fans witnessed something truly beautiful: Luis Severino finally returned to the mound. After over six-and-a-half months, the Yankees’ ace finally returned to action against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Return of Severino
Severino tossed four innings of two-hit ball, striking out four and walking a pair. The righty threw 67 pitches, and, overall, looked very, very strong. After missing practically all of Spring Training and the regular season with rotator cuff inflammation and a grade 2 lat strain, the flamethrowing ace is finally healthy again, and he’s ready to let it rip in the playoffs.
The Good and the Bad
Severino, although the results were good, hit a few speed bumps in his return. First off, the fastball command and velocity were superb. It would’ve been fair to expect Severino’s velocity to be down a smidge in his first start back, but overall, the velocity was not even close to a concern, as he averaged 96.6 MPH on his heater.
However, the one thing that needed some work from last night was Severino’s command of the slider. He hung his breaking pitch more than a few times and was actually lucky it didn’t hurt him really whatsoever. With that being said, some rust is to be expected, and I’m not worried, nor should you be, about Severino’s performance going forward. It’s natural that a pitcher returning fresh off an injury would struggle in some aspects of their game. Give him a few starts and Sevy should be back to normal.
Severino threw 67 pitches on Tuesday, and I’d expect that number to slowly increase in his final regular season starts. Perhaps in the Postseason, the Yankees can squeeze around 80 pitches from Sevy before handing the ball to their daunting bullpen.
Anticipate Severino to continue to take it easy between now and October, as his arm isn’t properly stretched out for his normal workload of 95+ pitches per start. Even if Severino can’t amount to this number in the playoffs if Severino can go five strong innings, the Yankees would gleefully take that.
If all goes well, Severino should start in the Postseason, as I said earlier, he may not be stretched out to throw eight innings of one-run ball, but he can still provide. If Severino can go four or five strong innings, it would be a great help for the Yankees. Even after the devastating injury news regarding Dellin Betances, the Yankees still have a superb bullpen. They can get the job done in October.
Severino is the ace of the staff, and although he may not be prepared to be his normal self at 100%, Severino is good enough to be a huge piece of the Yanks’ Postseason picture.