Did you know it was #SevySeason yesterday? A nice, spring Florida day where Luis Severino would lead the Yankees in his spring debut against...whomever they were playing. None of that matters. Severino didn’t even make it out of his warm-ups, as he experienced right shoulder discomfort, leading the Yankees to scratch his start. I’m sure it was just precautionary though:
Luis Severino’s MRI showed rotator cuff inflammation. He will be shut down for two weeks, receive an injection and anti-inflammatories, then resume his throwing program.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 5, 2019
Fortunately, the Yankees have their tremendous depth to fall back on. Let’s look at our heroes, shall we?
Should the Yankees need to call upon their rotation depth, their in-house candidates include Chance Adams, Luis Cessa, Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga.
Chance Adams’ stock has dropped drastically; Domingo German probably belongs in the bullpen; Jonathan Loaisiga is still developing; and Luis Cessa is Luis Cessa. For a spot start here or there, this would not be an issue. The prospect of any of them replacing Severino though, of all the starters, is bleak at best.
This is exactly why fans were hammering the Patrick Corbin horn, even after the James Paxton trade. It wasn’t just because it’s fun to imaginarily (it’s a word, trust me) spend Hal Steinbrenner’s money — that’s just an added bonus. You could see the rotation issue a mile away, and it’s the same problem that’s plagued the Yankees for years.
If healthy and producing, the Yankees could have one of the best rotations in baseball. Severino, Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka make a helluva 1-2-3 punch. J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia aren’t shabby either, especially given the way both have pitched recently. The questions marks surrounding their health and/or consistency have always been there, however, and the Yankees did nothing to address that.
We’ve said all along that as soon as one starter goes down, and the Yankees are forced to run a German/Cessa/Loaisiga fusion out there for a few starts, it would be bad. Well, we’re here now. It’ll be two weeks before Severino gets evaluated, and if all is well then, he’ll resume his throwing plan. Then he’ll essentially have his spring training. At best, it’s going to be a while before we get to see him. Factor in CC Sabathia’s suspension to start the season, and the rotation early on is not pretty.
Fortunately, the team supposedly has at least discussed adding more depth:
Gio Gonzalez has been discussed at least by some Yankees people, even before Luis Severino was scratched with shoulder “discomfort.” Rotation depth one of their only issues.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 5, 2019
If they had these discussions before Severino’s injury, it might motivate them to act. That’s definitely a good thing. Gio Gonzalez may not be a flashy or great signing, but I have more faith in him than those currently in the organization. Tom Krosnowski will have more on Gonzalez later today, but he’s been about league average for the most part. He also keeps the ball on the ground, so he’d be a good fit for Yankee Stadium as long as the infield defense can help him.
Many, myself included, have been clamoring for a while that the Yankees need another starting pitcher. Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez are available today. The time is now for the Yankees to act. Severino was the pitcher without health questions, and he’s the first one to drop. If the more injury-prone starters get hurt, the Yankees will have to hit the panic button, and someone may have signed the better available starters. The time for the Yankees to act is now.