Luis Severino

From BR Bullpen

Luis Severino

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 195 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Luis Severino was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent before the 2012 season. He began his professional career that season with the DSL Yankees 1, putting up a sparkling 1.68 ERA in 14 starts to earn a promotion to the United States. After recording a 1.37 ERA in his first 6 games for the DSL Yankees 1 in 2013, he was moved up to the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League, skipping short-season Class A ball. He went 1-1, 4.08 in 4 games for Charleston and was back with the team to start the 2014 season. In 14 starts, he was 3-2, 2.79 to earn a promotion to the Tampa Yankees on June 20th. In the Florida State League, he was 1-1, 1.33 in 4 starts, and moved up again a month later, joining the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League. His rapid progression up the organizational ladder meant that he was almost five years younger than the league average at that point but it did not faze him as he went 2-2, 2.52 in 6 starts. Combined between the three stops, his record was 6-5, 2.47 in 24 starts, with 113 innings pitched, during which he allowed 93 hits and walked 27 while striking out an outstanding 127 opponents. He pitched for the World Team in the 2014 Futures Game.

Having now vaulted near the top of the Yankees' top prospects list and being considered the #35 prospect in baseball by Baseball America, he returned to Trenton to start the 2015 season. In 8 starts, he was 2-2, 3.32 and moved up again on May 31st, to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He was outstanding at that level, with a record of 7-0 and a 1.91 ERA in 11 starts. The Yankees called him up to make his big league debut on August 5th, facing their historic rivals the Boston Red Sox. he gave up only 2 hits in 5 innings, walking none and striking out 7, but the Sox managed to score twice, with one of the runs being unearned and the other coming off a long ball by David Ortiz. Meanwhile, his opponent, knuckleballer Steven Wright, stymied the Yankees' bats and Luis was saddled with a 2-1 loss in spite of his nice effort. He won his first game on August 22nd when he defeated the Cleveland Indians, 6-2, pitching 6 innings and finally getting some run support. He had a 2.04 ERA after 6 starts, then ran into a buzz-saw called the Toronto Blue Jays on September 11th, as Ben Revere led off the game with a hit, followed by a Josh Donaldson homer and Justin Smoak added a two-run shot later in the five-run 1st inning. He was charged with the 11-5 loss. In all, he made 11 starts for the Yankees, with a record of 5-3, 2.89 in 62 1/3 innings.

The Yankees had big expectations of Luis heading in 2016, but he had a rough start to his season. The team lost all of his first five starts, and he was charged with four of the losses with an ERA of 6.31, prompting musings that he could be headed back to the minor leagues. However, after another rough outing on May 13th, in which he gave up 7 runs to the Chicago White Sox in 2 2/3 innings, he was placed on the disabled list with a "mild triceps strain." His record was now an unsightly 0-6, 7.46 in 7 starts. After one rehabilitation start, the Yankees decided to option him to the minor leagues on May 30th, just as he was eligible to return to the team. He came back on July 27th and pitched out of the bullpen for his first three appearances. He earned his first win of the season in the last of these, on August 3rd, thanks to a very solid effort facing the New York Mets. He replaced Chad Green with two outs in the 4th with the Yankees ahead 6-3, in spite of Green having already allowed 8 hits and 4 walks. He got the last out, stranding two runners on base, and went on to pitch 4 1/3 innings allowing only an unearned run on one hit to get credit for the 9-5 win. Following the game, manager Joe Girardi announced he would be given the starting slot opened up by the trade of Ivan Nova, as the Yankees were committed to give young players a shot to prove their mettle in the two months remaining in the season. However, it turned out it was the great relief outing that was a freak: he was beaten around badly in his next couple of starts, and after taking a 12-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on August 14th, he was sent back to AAA. He finished at 308., 5.83, in what was a highly disappointing season.

Severino showed his star potential in 2017, as he quietly took over the mantle of the Yankees' ace, consistent with a season in which the team was driven by a group of emerging young players. He was 5-4, 3.54 in the first half but was still named to the All-Star team for the first time as an injury replacement, in large part because of his dominant 124 strikeouts in 106 2/3 innings. He then switched to another gear after the break, giving up a total of just 5 runs in 32 2/3 innings over his first five starts, good for an ERA of 0.83, and winning 4 of them. He finished the season at 14-6, 2.98, with 230 strikeouts in 193 1/3 innings, When it came time to chose a starting pitcher for the most important game of the season, the Wild Card Game against the Minnesota Twins at New Yankee Stadium on October 3rd, it was Severino who was Joe Girardi's pick. It was a very rough outing however. He came out with no command of his fastball or breaking pitches, quickly fell behind in the count to lead-off hitter Brian Dozier, and then was stunned when the second baseman jumped on a 99-mph fastball up the middle and drove it to the top of the left field wall for a solo homer. After getting Joe Mauer to pop up, he allowed a swalk to Jorge Polanco, prompting a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild and activity in the bullpen. The next batter, Eddie Rosario, hit another homer, to make it 3-0. He then allowed a single to Eduardo Escobar and a double to Max Kepler, and his night was over after just a third of an inning. But Chad Green made a great outing in relief, striking out the next two batters to limit the damage, and then the Yankees' bats took over, with a three-run homer by Didi Gregorius off Ervin Santana in the bottom of the 1st ensuring that he would not be involved in the decision. His short outing had taxed the bullpen, but the Yankees were able to win, 8-4, and move on to the next round.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL All-Star (2017)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bryan Hoch: "Severino gaining confidence with every outing: Yanks righty appears ticketed for rotation, delivers solid start against Mets", mlb.com, March 23, 2016. [1]
  • Bob Klapish: "Why the Yankees trust Luis Severino", USA Today Sports, October 2, 2017. [2]
  • Marty Noble: "Severino justifies callup with promising debut: Promoted to fill a spot, not a headline, Yankees' top prospect strong in defeat", mlb.com, August 6, 2015. [3]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "The education of Luis Severino: New Yankees ace learns the art of pitching", USA Today Sports, June 19, 2017. [4]

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