Sevy is Back
How Luis Severino has looked and how the Yankees should use him the rest of the way
|Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images|
Luis Severino returned to the Yankees last Tuesday night and pitched in his first regular season game since September 28, 2019 which was, ironically, also against the Texas Rangers. Sevy looked pretty good, pitching two shutout innings and striking out Jose Trevino and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. He had good command of his fastball, even on a rainy night in the Bronx, and his offspeed pitches looked crisp, getting his first K on his changeup and utilizing his slider for the second. In the outing, Sevy threw 30 pitches with 19 of them being strikes, and was able to get a first pitch strike on six of the eight batters that he faced. His velocity wasn’t exactly what it was pre TJS, but looked extremely effective nonetheless with the 4-seam fastball sitting in the mid 90s, changeup in the upper 80s, and slider in the mid 80s. Some of this also could have been Sevy taking some off of his pitches in order to have better control in the rain.
He made his second appearance of the season on Saturday, picking up the win against the Red Sox after pitching in the seventh and eighth innings. Sevy looked good again, allowing no runs and no hits in his two innings of work and striking out four. He got the credit for the win after coming in to a 1-run deficit and leaving with a 3-run lead following the Giancarlo Stanton Grand Slam in the top of the eighth inning. This outing, Sevy needed just a few more pitches to get his two innings in, this time throwing 37 pitches with 22 of them being strikes. He showed slightly less control, walking Kevin Plawecki and hitting Rafael Devers with a fastball, but was also able to tick up his velocity a bit. This outing, Sevy got his 4-seam fastball up to 97 mph, whereas Tuesday he had topped out at only 95. He was also able to get his changeup up to 90 mph, where it was sitting 88 Tuesday, and got his slider up to 88 mph while it had only gotten up to 85 mph on Tuesday.
So, now that we’ve finally seen him back in action the question is, how will the Yankees use him the rest of the season? The tough part about figuring out where Sevy fits into the Yankees’ pen is that the dude hasn’t been on the field, even in the minors, to really give a glimpse of where his stuff is at. This season in the minors, Sevy pitched just 10.2 innings on two separate rehab assignments, his last outing being on August 8th for the AA Somerset Patriots. Before that, he had pitched on August 3rd (also AA Somerset), June 12th (A+ Hudson Valley Renegades), and June 6th (A Tampa Tarpons).
If Sevy can continue to command his fastball and keep his offspeed pitches sharp, don’t be surprised that he plays a big role in the Yankees’ bullpen going forward. He was, and will continue to be a really good pitcher for them as long as he can stay healthy. For the remainder of the season, I would like to see Aaron Boone use Sevy in the same way the team used to use Chad Green in 2016-2018; as a guy who you bring in when you’re in a sticky situation and need a big out in the middle to later parts of the game. He can come in and get you a big strikeout or groundout and then stay in the game for 5-7 outs and save you from taxing the pen. And another thing that not many in the bullpen currently can say, is that he can get batters out with three pitches. He has a live fastball, and when he has his changeup and slider locating, they are absolutely filthy pitches in his arsenal. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his velocity continue to tick up a little more as he continues to pitch.
Sevy looks good and is ready to drop his nuts on guys out of the bullpen. Let’s just hope Aaron Boone makes him an important piece of the bullpen for October.
By Nick SimonelliFollow @nicksims14