Luis Severino was supposed to pitch for the Yankees on Tuesday and likely is headed for an Opening Day start. However, the Yankees received some bad news regarding their ace, as he was scratched from the start due to shoulder discomfort. After the game, the Yankees updated reporters:
Luis Severino’s MRI showed rotator cuff inflammation. He will be shut down for two weeks, receive an injection and anti-inflammatories, then resume his throwing program.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 5, 2019
The start of the regular season is 23 days away, so losing two weeks before ramping it back up is very likely to affect the Yankees' rotation plans to start the season.
Pitchers in the spring can fool around with different pitches, different grips and locations, but the main thing they need is to get their work in and stretch out in order to log the innings necessary in early-season starts. If Severino ends up being shut down for two weeks before being able to throw again, he'll need to work up to game shape and then start with something like a two-inning outing.
Here's a good place to note that Yankees manager Aaron Boone mentioned it was "highly unlikely" for Severino to start the season with the Yankees, via Meredith Marakovits.
Generally speaking, teams would like their starters to be able to handle five innings before giving them a big-league start. Simply put, it seems like Severino not beginning the season on the disabled list -- even if he only misses one start -- would be an upset.
Severino, 25, was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 220 strikeouts in 191 1/3 innings last season. However, it was a season divided:
- First 18 starts: 13-2, 1.98 ERA.
- Next 14 starts: 6-6, 5.67 ERA.
He then threw four scoreless, though inefficient, innings in the wild card game before the Red Sox torched him in Game 3 of the ALDS.
Still, Severino's only 25 and just signed a four-year, $40 million extension that is likely to prove club-friendly. He's loaded with talent and losing him for an extended period of time would be a big blow to the Yankees' rotation.
Aside from Severino, the Yankees' staff includes James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia. Internal options to be a fifth starter if Severino's out for any stretch are likely Luis Cessa, Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga.