Luis Severino is out for the year with Tommy John surgery, so let’s take a look at who the Yankees can turn to in holding down the fifth starter spot.
Injuries are no shock to us Yankees fans, right? Well, the bug has bitten the Yanks again, as Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John Surgery on Thursday, prompting the Yankees’ number two starter to miss all of 2020.
With this noted, it’s time for the “Next man Up” mentality. Who can replace Severino in the Bombers’ rotation until the righty can come back healthy?
Luis Cessa is an interesting case, as he’s not very high on the glory list of most Yankee fans. With that said, Cessa’s 2019 wasn’t all that bad. Last season, Cessa pitched to a 4.11 ERA in 81.0 innings, striking out 75
All thing’s considered, Cessa actually had an even better season than his numbers indicate, as before his final appearance in Arlington against the Rangers, the righty was spotting a 3.73 ERA at the time. This is a major improvement from what we’ve seen from Cessa in the past, as his best season ERA-wise before 2019 was when he had a 4.35 ERA in 2016–his rookie year.
It’s very possible the Yankees have found a spot in Cessa, and that would be at the front-end of the bullpen in long relief. However, desperate times call for desperate measures, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Cessa get some reps out of the starting role pretty consistently.
Bettis is a late addition to the Yankees, but that’s not a problem, as it looks like he came just at the right time. Bettis has spent his entire career with the Colorado Rockies and has even battled back from Testicular Cancer. His career numbers are underwhelming, however. In 600.2 innings, Bettis has a career 5.12 ERA.
With that said, there’s always the chance the Coors effect might have had a say in those statistics, and if Bettis gets a shot with the Yankees coming out of Spring training, he’ll have a shot to prove those numbers are skewed due to the high altitude of Colorado. Look for Bettis to get some chances as Spring training moves further along.
The Yankees have seen Tropeano twice since Spring baseball has opened up, and he dealt two impressive innings Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. In the two innings Tropeano pitched, he allowed one hit and struck out one batter. Tropeano has some experience pitching with the Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros, as in his career he is sporting a very mundane 4.51 ERA in 217.1 innings.
With that said, it’s clear the Yankees see at least something in Tropeano, as we’ve seen him pitch twice already in four Spring games, so there’s definitely some intrigue on the Yankees’ behalf.
No matter what happens, the Yankees have a major hole to fill in their rotation, and that won’t be easy. Expect them to mess around early in the season with who can spot the fifth starter slot until James Paxton and Domingo German return, providing more stability.