Luis Severino’s pitching woes mark him among MLB’s worst players

New York Yankees relief pitcher Luis Severino walks to the dugout after the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Amanda Paula
Friday August 11, 2023

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As the New York Yankees‘ hopes of reaching the postseason continue to dwindle, their ongoing issues have taken an upward trajectory, potentially pushing the iconic organization to a breaking point. At the center of this tumultuous situation is none other than Dominican pitcher Luis Severino.

Severino, once a formidable force on the mound, has seen a dramatic downturn in his performance, making him one of the least effective pitchers in recent Major League Baseball history. His current ERA of 8.06 stands as the highest in the franchise’s history for a pitcher’s first 14 appearances in a season.

As we approach August 11, 2023, Severino finds himself in the midst of his worst MLB season to date. The Yankees’ chances of making the playoffs have been inversely proportional to Severino’s struggles, putting the organization in a precarious situation.

The Yankees face a major crossroads in the form of Luis Severino

Luis Severino, the pitcher of the Yankees.

Severino’s arrival at Spring Training this year was anticipated with optimism following his impressive 2022 campaign, where he boasted a 7-3 record and an ERA of 3.18. However, this year has seen a sharp decline in his on-field prowess, which has severely impacted his self-confidence.

Despite his hefty $15 million contract, Severino has fallen short of the high expectations set when he signed the deal. His presence on the mound has, more often than not, resulted in losses for the Yankees. At the age of 29, Severino has been plagued by injuries throughout this season, limiting his playing time to a mere 63 innings and two-thirds. His towering ERA of 8.06, coupled with a strikeouts-per-nine rate of 7.92, highlight his struggles to regain control of games.

Luis Severino, the pitcher of the Yankees.

Beyond the numbers, the Yankees’ concern lies in the crisis of confidence Severino appears to be grappling with. Formerly known as an elite competitor, Severino has publicly expressed doubts about his abilities and even gone so far as to label himself “the worst pitcher in the world.” These admissions lay bare an internal battle that has undoubtedly affected his on-field performance.

Luis Severino, the pitcher of the Yankees.

This predicament has garnered attention not only from the sports community but also from commentators. Tiki Barber, a former NFL player turned sports analyst, has observed that Severino seems to be emotionally wounded, and this emotional turmoil is undeniably translating to his performance on the field. Even Yankees’ manager, Aaron Boone, has attempted to intervene and support Severino, but the outcomes have fallen short of expectations.

Given the circumstances, the Yankees may contemplate moving Severino to the bullpen as a strategic maneuver to readjust their rotation and potentially secure a wildcard spot in the playoffs. However, the priority remains Severino’s rediscovery of the lost confidence that has haunted him throughout this challenging season. His ERA of 8.06 in his first 14 appearances is the highest in franchise history for a Yankee, with a minimum of 50 innings pitched, underscoring the magnitude of his current struggle.

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