Amongst the litany of questions within the Yankees’ starting rotation is the status of former ace Luis Severino, who underwent Tommy John surgery in February of 2020.
It’s a given that he won’t be back until at least the summer as he began a throwing program toward the end of 2020 — creating that much more uncertainty around a staff that only grew shakier in acquiring the injury-riddled Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon.
But Severino provided promising updates that he’s on course to meet the timetable set forth by the Yankees.
“I think I’m pretty close to getting on the mound. Physically, I feel excellent. My arm is feeling pretty good today,” Severino said on Monday. “Mentally, physically, I feel pretty good.”
A healthy Severino was originally expected to be a bona fide No. 2 arm behind staff ace Gerrit Cole, acquired before the 2020 season and seen as the final piece to a championship puzzle.
But after Severino’s injury, the Yankees’ rotation quickly became its Achilles heel, giving out in the ALDS to the AL East-winning Tampa Bay Rays.
Should the 27-year-old right-hander get back into the rotation in July or August and return to his form from 2017-2018, it’s as good as a trade deadline acquisition the Yankees could possibly dream of.
For now, though, it’s baby steps as Severino began throwing from 90 feet on Monday. That will be upped to 120 feet on Tuesday.
“I hope to be back sooner but that’s not something where I have an exact date,” Severino said. “The most important thing, I feel good and just take it day by day. I’m close to throwing bullpens. After that, I’m going to face hitters.”