Luis Severino just cannot stay healthy; after it looked like the New York Yankees' injury-prone starting pitcher would be ready to go for 2023 Opening Day, the 29-year-old is back on the shelf with a right lat strain.
“Luis Severino has a low-grade right lat strain and is expected to begin the season on the IL,” wrote MLB.com's Bryan Hoch on Saturday. “Clarke Schmidt is in line to start the Yankees' second game of the season.”
It's just a brutal blow for Severino, who hasn't had a fully healthy campaign for the pinstripes since 2017. He sustained the injury while working out following his most recent start, and won't throw for at least five to seven days, manager Boone explained.
Gerrit Cole will unsurprisingly start for the Yankees on Opening Day on Mar. 30, with Schmidt confirmed to take to the mound against the San Francisco Giants on Apr. 1.
The Yankees will rely on former first-round pick Clarke Schmidt to pick up the pieces for a rotation battered by injuries; the 27-year-old made his MLB debut in 2020.
The entire Yankees' starting rotation is pretty banged up ahead of regular season action, with Carlos Rodon and Frankie Montas both also injured. The rest of New York's rotation projects to be Nestor Cortes and Domingo German, with Jhony Brito as an option if the team does need a fifth starter.
Certainly not the way the Yankees wanted to start the regular season, but they have one of the most potent starting rotations in baseball when healthy, which will only be a matter of time.
Severino struggled mightily in Grapefruit League play in 2023, posting a 9.00 ERA, while allowing 15 runs in 15 innings. He made 19 starts in 2022 — his most since the 2018 season, per Hoch — and went 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA.
“If Yankees' Luis Severino ends up missing time — which is a possibility if he’s unable to make his final start of the spring — it’ll be the latest bullet point in a long list of injuries for the two-time All-Star,” wrote Max Goodman of NJ Advance Media.
“Between right rotator cuff inflammation (2019), Tommy John surgery (2020), a right lat strain (2022) and other complications, Severino has pitched in only 26 games since his 19-win season in 2018.”