Yankees starter Luis Severino appears no closer to making his season debut with the team, according to recent reports from manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman. The right-hander suffered a bout of right rotator cuff inflammation prior to the start of spring training, and had finally started to work his way back to a throwing routine when he was sidelined with additional discomfort. An MRI revealed that he was only “about 90 percent healed,” and the Yankees have since said that they plan to keep him on the shelf until he makes a full recovery.
Whether the club should have seen the writing on the wall is another question. “In hindsight, an MRI probably would have been warranted,” Cashman told reporters Sunday. “He doesn’t like going in the MRI tube.”
Though Cashman admitted the Yankees made a mistake in rushing the starter back into pitching activity without undergoing additional tests, the damage has already been done. Now, it looks like Severino won’t be cleared to return to the rotation until late August, assuming he doesn’t run into further complications during his recovery.
George A. King III of the New York Post points out that the righty will still have to complete six weeks’ worth of spring training before slotting back into the rotation, and it’s not certain that he’ll be able to produce the sub-3.00 ERA and 5.0+ fWAR the Yankees are used to seeing from him, either. In 2018, the 25-year-old earned his second All-Star and Cy Young Award nominations by pitching to some career-high marks with a 19-8 record in 32 starts and a 3.39 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 10.3 SO/9, and 5.5 fWAR across 191 1/3 innings.