An MRI this week showed that Yankees ace Luis Severino’s injured lat is 90 percent healed, but that doesn’t mean he’s closing in on his 2019 debut. While the hope was Severino would return sometime in July, he’ll be out until at least late August, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Any further setbacks could put Severino’s season in jeopardy, as he’ll need to participate in a full spring training (six weeks) before making his way back to the majors.
With Severino currently battling lat soreness, general manager Brian Cashman admitted to Joel Sherman of the New York Post and other reporters Sunday that the team “clearly” should have made the right-hander undergo an MRI before starting a throwing program. Cashman added that he still expects Severino to pitch this year, but the GM once again indicated he’s on the hunt for starting pitching with a month left before the July 31 trade deadline. However, New York has “heard ridiculous requests from teams willing to trade,” King writes.
Three weeks ago, before Severino’s newest setback, the Yankees were reportedly showing interest in Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner and Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman. They’re also said to like Mets righty Zack Wheeler, who looks more and more likely to leave Queens with his club in free-fall mode. However, whether the Mets would trade him to their crosstown rivals is another matter. Tigers southpaw Matthew Boyd and Indians righty Trevor Bauer represent a couple other prominent hurlers who have been popular in trade speculation.
Any starter the Yankees could acquire in the coming weeks will have a hard time matching what a healthy Severino provides. The 25-year-old flamethrower is coming off back-to-back seasons as one of the majors’ top starters, including when he fired 191 1/3 innings of 3.39 ERA/2.95 FIP ball with 10.35 K/9 and 2.16 BB/9 in 2018. Even without any help from Severino this season, the Yankees have raced to the AL’s best record (53-28), but whether they’d be able to get through the playoffs without him is certainly in question. After all, no one from the Yankees’ 2019 rotation has come close to delivering ace-caliber production.