Yankees right-hander Luis Severino reported tightness in his throwing shoulder yesterday, and was scratched from a planned Triple-A rehab start. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link) reported that Severino will see doctors on Monday, with Yankees manager Aaron Boone telling reporters (including Newsday’s Erik Boland) that Severino will undergo an MRI. More will be known once Severino is examined, with Boone expressing hope at this point that the injury is only “something minor,” and saying “I feel awful for [Severino]” in the wake of yet another potential injury setback.
Severino missed much of the 2019 season due to shoulder and lat injuries, and then didn’t pitch at all in 2020 because of Tommy John surgery. His return from that rehab was tentatively scheduled for around the All-Star break before he suffered a groin injury in June that pushed his timetable back another month. The righty had already made four minor league rehab appearances, and it is possible Friday’s outing might have been his final hurdle before finally returning to the Yankees’ active roster.
Now, it is fair to wonder if Severino might be sidelined for another full season, given the timing of this shoulder issue. Anything beyond basic soreness could require another shutdown, so it could conceivably be September before Severino again appears in a game. It’s worth noting that Severino didn’t make his 2019 debut until September 17 (appearing in three regular-season games before starting two postseason contests), though even this usage may not be feasible depending on the nature of this new shoulder problem. After such a long layoff, the last thing the Yankees would want is for Severino to incur yet another injury due to a desire just to get any game action in for the 2021 season.
The Bronx Bombers have long been counting on Severino to provide a late boost to the pitching staff, especially considering the team’s pitching ranks have been decimated by other injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak. On the latter front, there is some good news, as Boone said Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery threw bullpen sessions yesterday and are on pace to be activated from the COVID list early next week.