When Luis Severino came up in 2015 Yankees fans had hope that he was going to be the ace of the staff for years to come. He pitched very well in his first taste of the majors posting 62.1 innings pitched in 11 starts.
Command was a bit of an issue for him, but that is to be expected for a 22-year-old fireballer. He posted an 8.09 K/9 to a 3.18 BB/9. The numbers looked good for the young phenom and we all expected him to pick up where he left off in 2015, and continue to improve in 2016.
Severino’s 2016 left a sour taste in our mouths. After a terrible start to his year he was placed on the DL with a triceps strain.
When he came off the DL on May 30th he was optioned to triple-A and not called back up to the majors until July 25th. He pitched well out of the bullpen, making 11 appearances giving up only one earned run.
Going into the off season the rumors were swirling around. Will he be the Yankees next dominant closer? Will they give him another chance to start?
Severino came to spring training in 2017 fighting for a spot in the starting rotation. He won a job in the rotation and was named the Yankees fourth starter. Severino’s first start of the year was against the Baltimore Orioles, and he posted a line of 5.0 innings, six hits, four earned runs, and six strikeouts. Not bad, not good either, but his next start against Tampa Bay is when Severino took off.
April 13th 2017 was the day that Severino pitched to his full potential and didn’t look back. He posted a line of 7.0 innings, five hits, two earned runs, and eleven strikeouts. His best game pitched in the majors was then backed up by an outing against the Chicago White Sox where he pitched 8 innings, three hits, three earned runs, and ten strikeouts.
Yes, Severino still had a few rough patches, but few and far between all the good starts. Luis Severino finished the 2017 regular season as the Yankees best starter. He finished third in the Cy Young voting behind Corey Kluber and Chris Sale. Commanding his fastball and trusting his secondary pitches is what changed everything for Sevy. He cut his walks per 9 down by almost one to 2.37 and his HR/9 down to 0.98.
His first start in 2018 against the Toronto Blue Jays Severino went out and showed why he is still in the conversation as one of the best pitchers in the American League. He had a little bit of a command issue allowing three walks, but still struck out seven, and only allowing one hit.
Luis Severino is the face of the Yankees rotation, and at only 24 years old we can count on him being here in New York for years to come.