Luis Severino had a combined 33-14 record in 2017-18, making him the Yankees ace, even if Joe Girardi and Aaron Boone shied away from hanging that tag on him.
A shoulder problem in spring training last year and a lat problem during the rehab process limited the talented right-hander to three games, a dozen regular-season innings and two postseason starts.
With Gerrit Cole joining in the offseason, there was no question who the Yankees’ ace was when spring training began in February. The teams do not award nine-year deals of $ 324 million to anyone other than the best in the business, which is Cole.
The way Severino, 26, looked at Cole’s addition was that he had a right-handed partner to learn from. But after the February 25 announcement that Severino required Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and the closing of the camps on March 12 due to the coronavirus, the classroom was closed.
“For me, although it was not for a long time, we were together for a couple of days in spring training and I have already started to learn from him. He is a great pitcher. He has many things in mind that I can learn from,” said Severino The Post in an email. “I will be excited when I return. I will be excited to be in New York with all the guys on our staff who have been successful for many years. I know it will be a lot of fun when I return.”
Even if there is a 2020 season, Severino won’t be ready to launch until at least next June and that could be too early.
When Severino, who signed a four-year, $ 40 million contract before the start of the 2019 season, returns in 2021, he may not see some familiar faces of rotation. James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ will be a free agent next winter and jump into an arena that is likely to be financially affected by a shorter 2020 season.
When asked how difficult it has been to know he won’t be ready until next year, Severino put his situation in perspective.
“Of course it’s frustrating, but this year has been a frustrating year for everyone. So right now I am focused on trying to be healthy for next year,” Severino wrote. “With all that has been going on, there has been no baseball.” But right now there are more things to worry about than playing baseball, you know, like everyone’s health and staying safe. I’m just focused on day to day. “
And that means working at Steinbrenner Field.
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“I’ve been in Tampa since the day after surgery. I do arm bikes, dumbbell exercises, and just follow the routine that [trainers] Timmy [Lentych] and Alfonso [Malaguti] Plan for me. I spend an hour and a half with them in the coach’s room before moving to the gym, every day, five days a week, “Severino explained.” Things have progressed well. I have been making steady progress: lifting weights, exercising For three months now, I think when I had the first operation, I feel much better. I’m doing everything I need to do now so I can start launching this summer. “
Tommy John’s comeback from surgery is long and boring compared to the excitement of belonging to a major league rotation, and the only way to stay focused is to look at a very big picture.
“Of course, it is disappointing, but I want to look long term. I want to be healthy for a long time. So I want to use this year, and last year, to improve, listen to my body,” said Severino. “Of course he was angry at the time [of the injuries] but right now I just want to worry about recovering and having a long career. “
Regarding the safety of his family, Severino wrote that the coronavirus has not touched the members.
Thank God, nobody. Everyone is healthy, “wrote Severino.” Actually, where my mother lives [Las Canitas Sabana De La Mar in the Dominican Republic] There are no cases yet. “