Luis Severino’s sophomore campaign was disappointing. Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong about it did. It was unclear whether or not Severino would even have a place in the Yankees’ rotation in 2017 when spring training began. Then he went and became the ace of the staff.
All of Severino’s success this year earned him a third place finish in Cy Young voting. He threw 193.1 innings on his way to a 2.98 ERA and 5.7 fWAR. Severino struck out more than ten batters per nine innings and limited his home runs allowed to less than one per game.
Being the ace of the staff came with responsibility, and Severino was tapped to start the team’s do-or-die Wild Card game against Minnesota in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Severino crumbled under the pressure. He left the game after recording just one out with his team in a 3-0 hole. Fortunately, everything turned out okay. It was a valuable learning experience for a young pitcher that will undoubtedly serve him well going forward.
When the Yankees return for next season in late February, it’s quite possible that they will be coming into the season under the assumption that Severino will again be at the top of their rotation. Masahiro Tanaka sticking around means that there will be a bit less pressure than there might have otherwise been, but Severino will still be set to be one of the team’s very best pitchers as they try to return to the playoffs again in 2018.