Saturday, December 2, 2023

Luis Severino injury: Yankees starter has low-grade lat strain, expected to start season on IL

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Yankees right-handed starting pitcher Luis Severino has suffered a strained lat muscle and will “most likely” start the season on the injured list, per manager Aaron Boone (via Chris Kirschner). Fortunately for Severino and the Yankees, this doesn’t sound overly serious, given that Boone used the word “likely” and didn’t say Severino will definitely be on the IL. Pitching coach Matt Blake told Newsday Severino will be shut down for five to ten days.

Still, it’s troublesome. 

This is a common theme here, too. 

Injuries held Severino to just seven appearances — three starts — from 2019-21 due to a shoulder injury, Tommy John surgery and a groin injury. He returned to the rotation last season, making 19 starts. He was 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 112 strikeouts against 30 walks in 102 innings. As the stat line illustrates, he was productive when on the mound. He was also injured for a big chunk, missing every start between July 13-Sept. 21 due to a lat injury; Blake said Saturday that the new lat injury is in a different location than last year’s.

The Yankees’ rotation heading toward the regular season, compared to what it looked like back in early February, is in total disarray. Frankie Montas had shoulder surgery and is expected to miss a lot of time. Their big offseason signing was lefty Carlos Rodón and he’s down with a forearm injury. Given his extensive injury history, that’s very worrisome. Now Severino is down too. 

The Yankees still have a great 1-2 punch in Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, but after that it’s Domingo Germán, Clarke Schmidt and possibly youngster Deivi García or Jhony Brito.

Officially, the Yankees will start Cole on opening day and Boone noted that Schmidt will get the ball for the second game, with Cortes working back from a hamstring injury of his own. As for the rest of the rotation, officially, the Yankees are still figuring it out. 

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