The New York Yankees have been without their ace all season long, but he’s getting closer to a return.
The New York Yankees currently have a sizable lead in the AL East, and are now trying to position themselves for home field advantage through the ALCS and the World Series. They’ve done all of this without the services of their ace Luis Severino.
Severino has been sidelined since Spring Training with a lat/shoulder problem. He was hopeful to return right after the All-Star break, but a setback pushed his return to September at the earliest.
After a couple bullpen sessions it looks like he is primed to make his return in the near future. After throwing his second bullpen the next step is for him to face batters.
The Yankees were widely criticized during the trade deadline for not overpaying for starting pitching knowing it was a weak spot on their roster. General manager Brian Cashman has always been known to be aggressive in the trade market, but he wasn’t going force a deal that wouldn’t benefit the team in the long run.
The Yankees banked on their deadline additions being Severino and Dellin Betances. Even after a rough second half last season, Severino is still one of the best starters in baseball and Betances is one of the best bullpen arms in the game.
The Yankees could definitely use Severino as James Paxton and Domingo German are the only two starters with an ERA+ above 100. J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia have been bitten by the long ball all season and Masahiro Tanaka has had his struggles this season. Regardless of Tanaka’s struggles this year, his postseason resume speaks for itself so there shouldn’t be any concern with him.
Severino has said he feels like he still has enough time to return to the team as a starter even though the Yankees expect him to return in a long reliever role. Whether or not he returns as a starter remains to be seen, but any help he can give the staff is a major bonus.
Severino will throw one more bullpen on Thursday before facing hitters presumably on Sunday. Then Yankees fans can really get excited.