The Yankees need more pitching to experience success in October, and the team might just get it through the return of three injured arms.
Brian Cashman is obsessed with finding more pitching to help the Yankees reach and succeed in the postseason. A great deal of his focus is on the MLB trade market, but the recovery process of three injured pitchers also is of great interest to the team’s front office.
Fortunately, Cashman and company finally got some good news this week. The team officially announced that both Luis Severino and Dellin Betances have been cleared to begin throwing programs. In other words, each injured star is now on a path to return to the Bronx before the season’s end. There’s no guarantee either pitcher will make it back in time to give manager Aaron Boone’s team a boost, but if everything goes according to plan each should be on the active roster before the postseason begins.
Severino is the player most fans will focus on. If he can beat the clock and return to the starting rotation in September, it could give the Yankees the fresh ace they need when the postseason begins. It’s possible Severino could return to give the bullpen a boost to limit his innings, but the franchise can benefit most by putting him back into the starting rotation.
There’s no chance Betances will come back as a starter, but his return could be invaluable for Boone’s bullpen. The group has been collectively overworked this season due to the inconsistency of the starting rotation. Adding an impact arm like Betances to the group would allow Boone to rest a few key bullpen arms down the stretch.
Curiously, the team didn’t mention Jordan Montgomery as a part of their official communications. The lanky left hander doesn’t have the track record of either Severino or Betances, but he could also come back and eat up some valuable innings for his staff. The organization won’t rush his return from Tommy John surgery last season, but Boone recently told reporters that he could “still play a late-season role” for the team. Montgomery’s rehab work won’t get a ton of headlines, but it could be crucial for a staff that needs to avoid being overworked down the stretch.
None of this news means the Yankees aren’t fervently working the phones to find a quality trade for a starting pitcher capable of helping the team immediately, but it does show that Cashman doesn’t need to feel any desperation when engaging in conversation with rival general managers.