Luis Severino shut down with rotator cuff inflammation

The Yankees were dealt a blow on Tuesday afternoon when RHP and staff ace Luis Severino was scratched from his scheduled start with soreness in his right shoulder just moments before game time.  After undergoing an MRI, it was revealed that Severino had inflammation in his rotator cuff and will be shut down for a minimum of two weeks.  This puts his available for Opening Day in serious doubt.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino throws in the bullpen at the Yankees spring training baseball facility, in Tampa, Fla. Severino has been scratched from his first scheduled spring training start due to right shoulder discomfort. Severino was slated to face the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, March 5, 2019,  but was replaced by Stephan Tarpley.
Credit: Lynne Sladky/AP 

On paper, the Yankees have one of the top starting rotations in the entire American League, but they have very little depth behind their five scheduled starters, and that depth will now be tested

With four off days over the first month of the season, the Yankees might be able to weather the storm with only one or two missed starts from Severino, but the question then becomes who steps into his spot in the rotation, as well as who is next up for Opening Day? The Yankees will also be without CC Sabathia for the first five games of the season, as he will serve his suspension for the incident in Tampa Bay at the end of the 2018 season.

Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga are the most obvious candidates to fill the rotation void until Sevy can return, although Luis Cessa might be in line for starts as well, as he has no remaining options and will almost certainly break the Opening Day 25-man roster.  It’s also possible the Yankees might look to the free agent market for additional starting pitching depth, with Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson the most logical short-term solutions that won’t command high AAV, long-term deals.

For Severino, it’s better this injury occurs early in camp, rather than midseason, but it will delay his start to the season, as well as cut into the time he had this Spring to round into regular season form.  Although it would be foolish to expect him at 100% upon his return, assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, Severino should be just fine by mid-to-late April and return to his spot atop the New York pitching rotation.

Article by: Andrew Natalizio


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