Concerns mount as Luis Severino adds to Yankees woos at a critical time

Luis Severino is seen after pitching against the White Sox on June 8, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
Josh Barrett
Friday June 9, 2023

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The Yankees are already feeling the heat with Aaron Judge’s injury and the toxic air in the Bronx. Now they have another problem — Luis Severino — to deal with. While Nestor Cortes has headed to the IL and Carlos Rodon is yet to return, they expect Severino to take over. But Luis Severino’s struggles raise red flags at a crucial time.

Luis Severino did really well in his first two games after recovering from an injury. Unfortunately, his performance in the most recent two starts has been quite different from his previous strong starts. While it was understandable that Luis Severino struggled against the formidable Dodgers in Los Angeles, his performance on Thursday against the rather average White Sox might raise some questions.

The unacceptable outing by Luis Severino

Luis Severino expressed his dissatisfaction with his performance, describing it as “unacceptable.” He once again struggled with his fastball, which was lacking its usual speed. The Yankees starter threw only for five innings and gave up three home runs in the Yankees’ 6-5 loss to start the doubleheader in The Bronx.

In his last two starts, he has allowed a total of six home runs, which is a significant increase compared to the one home run he gave up in his first two outings. This comes after missing the first seven weeks of the season due to a strained right lat muscle, which Luis Severino sustained toward the end of spring training.

The right-hander expressed uncertainty about the situation, stating that he needed to address and resolve the issue. Before the Yankees’ 3-0 win in Game 2 of the doubleheader, Luis Severino remarked that giving up three home runs in every game was unacceptable.

Despite allowing four earned runs in the first three innings, Luis Severino managed to finish strong by not allowing any runs in the fourth and fifth innings. However, his four-seam fastball posed a significant challenge when facing the Chicago team.

The majority of the hits Luis Severino allowed, five out of six, came from that particular pitch, including all three home runs. The White Sox had 18 swings at his fastball and only missed once, which prompted Severino to rely more on his slider and changeup to counter their hitting.

“I can’t go out there and give up three homers every time I get the ball,” Severino said. “I need to fix it quick.”

A positive note

In his previous starts, Luis Severino had been consistently throwing his fastball at an average speed of 96.6 mph. However, on Thursday, his fastball velocity decreased slightly to 95.6 mph.

In his previous start against the Dodgers, Luis Severino had a similar situation with his fastball, averaging a speed of 95.0 mph. This is in contrast to his first two starts, where his fastball was consistently measured at an impressive 97.3 mph per pitch.

Luis Severino commented that the results speak for themselves, indicating that his fastball is his preferred pitch. He mentioned that when his fastball is not performing well, he has to rely on his changeup and slider. The Yankees starter also emphasized the importance of establishing his fastball to effectively use those secondary pitches. According to Luis Severino, his fastball feels fine and comfortable at the moment. He believes that the key is to focus on location, aiming to throw 95 to 96-mph pitches to the corners, as he believes this approach will lead to success.

After the start, Luis Severino’s ERA jumped to 5.75. During the game, he managed to strike out six batters and walked two, but had difficulty retiring some hitters in the beginning of the game. Out of the 86 pitches that Severino threw, 55 of them were strikes.

Luis Severino expressed his disappointment, stating that it is disheartening when he doesn’t help the team win the game every time he gets the opportunity to pitch. He emphasized his commitment to giving his best effort whenever he receives the ball. Luis Severino found it tough to accept that in his last two outings, he was unable to meet those expectations. As he mentioned before, it is considered unacceptable to consistently give up three or four home runs in every game. He acknowledged the necessity to improve his performance.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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