Initial reports had Brian Roberts potentially returning from the disabled list after just two weeks, but “two weeks” and “ruptured knee tendon” never seemed to match up and sure enough he’ll be out longer.
His injury is now being called merely a “right hamstring strain” and Roberts is eligible to come off the DL on April 19, but manager Buck Showalter told reporters that “is going to be a challenge for him.”
Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes that Roberts “is walking without a limp but has yet to resume baseball activities” eight days after suffering the injury sliding into second base against the Rays. Ryan Flaherty will continue to be the primary fill-in at second base.
Luis Severino will finally get his shot at an Opening Day start this year, the Yankees announced Saturday. According to manager Aaron Boone, he’ll lead a rotation comprised of Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery. It’ll be the first time since 2014 that someone other than Tanaka has taken the ball for Opening Day.
Severino, 24, is fresh off of his best career year to date. The right-hander pitched to a 14-6 record in 31 starts with the Yankees in 2017 and earned an All-Star nomination and Cy Young award consideration with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 10.7 SO/9 and 5.7 fWAR in 193 1/3 innings. “We feel like it’s his time for it,” Boone told reporters Saturday. “With what he was able to do last year, we feel like he’s in a really good place now. We just felt like now is the time for him to take on that role and we think he’s ready for it. I’m looking forward to seeing him grow in his role as one of the aces of this staff.”
Prior to Saturday, Severino pitched in just one Grapefruit League game this spring. He fired 3 1/3 innings against the Phillies, allowing three hits and one unearned run and striking out three batters.
The Yankees are scheduled to kick off the season on March 29 against the Blue Jays. Jordan Montgomery will start their home opener against the Rays on April 2.