Bronx, NY: Luis Severino made his anticipated return on the mound Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium and the right-hander left little doubt about not being effective in his first start of the season. He threw four shutout innings and the fastball was consistent and at one time clocked at 98.
So the long comeback looks to be complete after right rotator cuff inflammation and lat injuries that put him on the injured list since spring training.
Manager Aaron Boone was looking at one or two more starts for Severino before the season concludes as the Yankees head to the October postseason.
The magic number is two for the Yankees after a combined 8-0 shutout win over the Angels, and with one more win and a Tampa Bay loss they will earn their first AL East division title since 2012.
Severino missed 159 games of the Yankees season. He resembled the ace again and threw 67 pitches and after a long recovery he is expected to offer a major boost to the Yankees rotation or working innings out of the pen.
All of that planning will be determined in the final games of the season as to how Severino will fit in the pitching plans for the Yankees.
“Excited how well he threw the ball,” said manager Aaron Boone. “What I loved was how in control with his delivery. The staff was very good, but it wasn’t like he was reaching for it, trying to do it. He really stayed within himself the entire night and gave us four outstanding innings. Commanded his slider, changeup was decent.”
Severino said he was very comfortable and excited to make the first start back in the Bronx and was in command of his slider, changeup and the fastball.
“ I got stronger,” he said. “It was fun going out there to hear the fans, being around all my teammates. Being there and trying to win games. I felt great out there.”
He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out four.
Boone lifted Severino after throwing 67 pitches and the plan all along for this first start was to go a little more. Regardless, this was a successful return and a boost for the Yankees who can use Severino as a bullpen opener starter in the best of five division series or take a turn in the rotation.
Last year. Severino finished 19-8, third in wins in the majors and was ninth in ERA. The fastball was consistent at 97 and there was no change or loss of velocity with the fastball. The control of pitches seen so much last season was more reason for optimism.
Optimistic of course for the Yankees as they head to October. Because there is never a doubt about the Yankees ability to score runs. It has always become a question about their starting rotation that entered the game with a staff ERA of 4.38.
Betances Setback and Shut Down: Dellin Betances and his setback caused the Yankees’ clubhouse to go in a quiet mode. After their win it was announced that Betances was diagnosed with a partial tear to his left Achilles tendon.
Surgery is not recommended but it is not out of the question. Admired and a good teammate in the clubhouse, Betances made his season debut on Sunday after recovering from shoulder and lat injuries.
The latest injury was the result of positioning the wrong way after throwing one of eight pitches that were his first and last of an injury ridden season.
“We just got to pick him up and support him,’ said a dejected Aaron Boone. “ Bullpen has been one of the strengths of our club and there is no denying that.”
“This is another one,” he said about the setbacks and injuries that have dominated the Yankees this season.
Though the Yankees have persevered and are on the verge of another division title with expectations of playing deep into October.
“We’ll support Dellin,” Boone said.
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