Amongst the New York Yankees’ list of promising storylines heading into the 2020 season, the return of starting pitcher Luis Severino was near the top.
That return might be delayed now.
The Yankees announced on Thursday that the 26-year-old is dealing with a loose body in his pitching elbow. He began experiencing the pain in his forearm when throwing his changeup, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. Soreness in the area, however, dates back to his last start of the postseason against the Houston Astros in the ALCS.
He will see a specialist on Friday, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to go by Opening Day next month.
The concerning injury history continues for the former staff ace, who was limited to just three regular-season starts in 2019 due to shoulder and lat injuries.
It derailed a promising two-year stretch that saw the righty go a combined 33-14 with a 3.18 ERA and 450 strikeouts in 384.2 innings of work.
His absence was one that was seriously felt for a Yankees team, whose lone Achilles heel of a 103-win season — despite the onslaught of injuries — was consistent starting pitching.
While they addressed that issue in the offseason by inking Gerrit Cole to the richest pitching contract in MLB history, Severino was still slated to be the No. 2 man in the rotation in front of Masahiro Tanaka, JA Happ, and James Paxton.
Paxton is already slated to miss two to three months after undergoing back surgery earlier this month, meaning the Yankees could be without their second and third starter to at the commencement of the regular season.