How short is Luis Severino’s leash in the Wild Card game?
With the 2017 regular season in the books for the Yankees, it’s finally time for postseason baseball again in the Bronx after a brief hiatus. While it was a fight to the finish for the AL East Divison, the Yankees ultimately find themselves in the play in Wild Card against the Minnesota Twins. While having great success against the Twins both this season and historically, the Yankees are taking no chances and will send out their ace this season Luis Severino.
Severino has been nothing but spectacular this season, posting a 14-6 record to go along with a 2.98 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and 230 strikeouts. Severino entered this season as a question mark, as he was very inconsistent and saw most of his major league action coming out of the bullpen for the Yankees. However, in a year where the Yankees rotation had its ups and downs, Severino quickly rose to the top and became a dominant starter the Yankees needed and could rely on in any situation. Severino has gone toe to toe with the likes of Chris Sale and Corey Kluber, both CY Young candidates, and showed he belonged in the same conversation. That is why it was a clear-cut decision to have him take the mound for a do or die game.
The only question that comes with Severino’s start Tuesday night is how cautious should Joe Girardi be with leaving him in the game? Should he pull him at the first sign of trouble? Or should he give him some leadway and let him handle it himself?
While this question comes as a difficult one, I think Girardi should stick by his man as long as he can. Severino has proven he can get out of jams and go deep into games, so if there is some slight trouble early, Girardi should let him work out of it. Now, that being said, if Severino doesn’t have his stuff at all or is looking like he will surrender two or three runs, then I think it would be a good move to go to his bullpen. However, if he is cruising, then there is no sense in trying to take him out before the seventh inning. While it is always tempting to use all the weapons the Yankees have in the bullpen, there also has to be some thoughts about if they do advance, they will need to be able to use them in those games as well. If Severino approaches this game like any other of his starts, then I have full confidence in him to go out there and give the Yankees six to seven strong innings and a chance to win. Come Tuesday night at 8pm EST, it is in Luis Severino we trust.