New York Yankees

Yankees need Luis Severino as more than a reliever

Yankees ace Luis Severino is still rehabbing from a lat issue, but when he returns, the bullpen isn’t the best long-term place for him.

Luis Severino has yet to throw a single pitch for the Yankees this season, but the Yankees still have a commanding lead in the division. Regardless of the distance they’ve put between themselves and the rest of the division their primary goal is to win the World Series.

A big part of their quest for a 27th championship will be the return of their ace. Severino is currently rehabbing from a lat injury, but is expected back in late August or early September. Recently General Manager Brian Cashman hinted at Severino returning in the bullpen when he’s activated.

Severino is on board with that plan, but only in the short-term. He has no plans to spend his entire 2019 season in the bullpen. He understands that even once he returns to Yankees it’s going to take some time for him to build his pitch count up, but he wants to start postseason games, and the Yankees would be wise to make sure that’s the case.

In the Yankees previous series against the Minnesota Twins, all three of their starters gave up at least six runs. J.A. Happ is pitching himself out of the postseason rotation, and Domingo German has yet to prove himself in a high leverage game.

So far this season German has been the team’s best pitcher, and the Yankees don’t seem all too concerned with James Paxton at the moment given he was brought in to pitch in big games. Masahiro Tanaka has a proven track record in the postseason that speaks for itself so there’s no concern there.

The trade market isn’t as fruitful either. The Indians may not actual deal Trevor Bauer and with the Giants recent surge they may hold on to Madison Bumgarner. The Yankees aren’t seen as the front runner for Marcus Stroman, and guys like Mike Minor and Robbie Ray aren’t solutions to the current problem. The jury is still out on Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler as to whether they’ll be dealt but Yankees fans shouldn’t hold their breath.

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Cashman will exhaust all possible options for the club that much is certain, but it’s imperative that Severino doesn’t have anymore setbacks and is built up to close to 100 pitches before the end of the season. A three man rotation of Severino, Paxton and Tanaka with guys like German, Sabathia and Happ alongside an already elite bullpen would be more than enough to win a World Series.

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