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Luis Severino shut down for two weeks with rotator cuff inflammation

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Yankees starter Luis Severino was scratched from today’s game — his first scheduled spring training game — after he left the field during warmups with “right shoulder discomfort.” The Yankees said that he wouldl undergo further examination and evaluation this afternoon, including an MRI.

He’s had his MRI and the news, while not terrible, is not great either: Severino has been diagnosed with “rotator cuff inflammation” and will be shut down for two weeks. Given that he has yet to pitch in a spring training game, and given that Opening Day is just over three weeks away, that makes him “high unlikely” to be ready to start the season according to manager Aaron Boone.

The Yankees are lacking in starting pitching depth. If Severino’s injury proves more troublesome and requires more than a two week rest, they could have some problems on their hands.

Severino just signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension which will take him through the 2022 season, with a club option for the 2023 season. He finished ninth in AL Cy Young Award balloting last season, going 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and a 220/46 K/BB ratio in 191 1/3 innings. He also finished third in AL Cy Young Award balloting in 2017.

Aaron Hicks would like to avoid Tommy John surgery

Aaron Hicks
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The Yankees’ 2019 run ended in heartbreak on Saturday night when, despite a stunning ninth-inning comeback, they fell 6-4 to the Astros and officially lost their bid for the AL pennant. Now, facing a long offseason, there are a few decisions to be made.

One of those falls on the shoulders of outfielder Aaron Hicks, who told reporters that he “thinks he can continue playing without Tommy John surgery.” It’s unclear whose recommendation he’s basing that decision on, however, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that Tommy John surgery was recommended during the slugger’s most recent meeting with Dr. Neal ELAttrache.

Hicks originally sustained a season-ending right flexor strain in early August and held several consultations with ElAttrache and the Yankees’ physician in the months that followed. He spent two and a half months on the 60-day injured list and finally returned to the Yankees’ roster during the ALCS, in which he went 2-for-13 with a base hit and a Game 5 three-run homer against the Astros.

Of course, a handful of strong performances doesn’t definitively prove that the outfielder is fully healed — or that he’ll be able to avoid aggravating the injury with further activity. Granted, Tommy John surgery isn’t a minor procedure; it’s one that requires up to a year of rest and rehabilitation before most players are cleared to throw again. Should Hicks wait to reverse his decision until he reports for spring training in 2020, though, it could push his return date out by another six months or so.