I was just as excited as about any other Yankee fan last year when highly touted prospect Luis Severino was called up to the Bigs. Living up to the hype, Severino compiled a 2.89 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched. The guy looked to be a stud in the making.
At the start of 2016, although slated as the number four starter, Severino was expected to shine in a suspect Yankees’ rotation. It started out as people saying Severino needed more run support, then he was just in a bit of a funk, and now we’ve all run out of answers. Severino has put up an 0-6 record with a 7.46 ERA. Those numbers aren’t going to cut it for a back end of the rotation guy, let alone someone who was supposed to carry the staff. In addition to all this, Severino left last night’s thrashing with an elbow injury that has forced him onto the 15 day DL. When asked if the injury may have hindered Severino this season, Girardi said ,“I think if it was an ongoing issue, you wouldn’t have seen 97s and 98s [on the radar gun].”Couldn’t agree more Joe.
I like Severino and I am in no way writing him off. He has the talent to be a very effective pitcher at the Major League level. He is able to couple a fastball that clocks in from the mid to high 90’s with a 87-89 mph slider. Not to mention, he’s only 22 years old. But the problem right now lies with his command and within his head. Severino’s inability to locate his pitches has led to mistakes that opposing hitters are taking advantage of. He has already given up 8 home runs in 7 games started this year. As for his mentality, not winning a game through 7 starts has clearly taken a toll on his confidence. Sending him back to the minors for a short stint will allow him to focus and work on his control, while regaining that lost confidence.