Just as the Yankees have started getting big league returns on Slade Heathcott and Jacob Lindgren, it looks like it's only a matter of time before they see Luis Severino as well. More or less considered the organization's top prospect heading into the season, Severino has made short work of his Double-A competition this year and has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton.
In 2015, the 21-year-old right-hander has pitched to a 3.32 ERA and 2.45 FIP while maintaining a strong 11.37 K/9 and effective 2.37 BB/9 in 38 innings. He's maintained a 3.00 ERA over 63 inning at the Double-A level between 2014 and 2015, showing that he might just be the real deal. He briefly served time on the disabled list because of a blister problem, but since returning, he's looked pretty dominant. While Double-A is generally considered to have the best prospects in the minors, Triple-A is where major league-ready talent goes to wait their turn for a call-up. By moving Severino up now, the Yankees can see how he does against players who, might not have the same upside as the opponents he was facing, but could be in the big leagues at any time.
This year's major league rotation has been hit with injuries as Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Capuano, and now Chase Whitley have all gone down at some point during the season. With Whitley out for the year, the Yankees lack much depth at the Triple-A level, relying mainly on the unproven Bryan Mitchell if they ever need a spot starter. They should have Tanaka back sometime soon, but that would still leave them with one of Capuano or Adam Warren in the rotation, along with the mixed bag of CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi. If New York can't find a way to upgrade the rotation behind Michael Pineda at the trading deadline, Severino coule become a late-season option to give the team a boost when they'll need it most.
Of course, some still believe–mainly Keith Law–that Severino is ultimately destined for the bullpen thanks to a violent, reliever-like delivery. However, reports have come out that he's dramatically improved his motions on the mound, hopefully making him less of a question mark and as close to a sure thing as the Yankees have. Yankees fans have been waiting for an exciting top prospect to make it to the majors and now it looks like they won't have to wait much longer.