The Yankees And Luis Severino Continue Their March To Divorce – Reflections On Baseball

Luis Severino - Chomping at the bit to contribute

Luis Severino and the Yankees have never had a cozy relationship, and all signs point to a divorce during the offseason.

Luis Severino is not one to forgive and forget; his arbitration battle with the Yankees still weighs heavily on his shoulders.

More on that later, but Severino’s latest dispute with the Yankees revolves around the program the team has mapped out as he does the work to return from injury.

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In brief, Luis Severino is like a thoroughbred in the starting gate, while the Yankees insist on a more cautious path to the field.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone has (typically) played both sides of the fence, praising Severino for his aggressiveness in speeding up the timetable but doing nothing to convince Yankees’ brass otherwise.

The standstill between the two takes on additional meaning when measured against the struggling Yankees rotation and the inability of anyone not named Gerrit Cole or Nestor Cortes to stop the bleeding.

Not to be underestimated, this is Severino’s walk year, and when the season ends, he will be eligible to enter the market as an unrestricted free agent.

It’s a safe bet that Severino also harbors some selfish motives in wanting to put his best foot forward, something he can’t do if he continues to be idle.

Luis Severino: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

However, the true nature of Luis Severino vs. the Yankees traces back to a public arbitration dispute over $850,000 earlier in his career.

During the 2018 season, Severino had posted extreme splits before and after the All-Star break. In the first half, he legitimately performed like a top-10 pitcher in baseball. His 2.31 ERA (2.75 FIP) before the break had many dreaming of a Cy Young Award. Then he became nearly unplayable down the stretch, pitching to a 5.57 ERA (3.37 FIP).

The Yankees elected to pretend the first half never occurred, and they “won” the arbitration battle.

To make matters worse, Yankees president Randy Levine upped the ante, saying, “It’s like me saying, I’m not the president of the Yankees, I’m an astronaut. I’m not an astronaut, and Dellin Betances is no closer.”

At the time, Severino was only 24, and this became his first dip into the business side of baseball. It stung him, and it’s safe to say it still stings today.

Severino Has Shown The Yankees The Goods

While the Yankees may view Severino as obstinate, headstrong, and not a team player, his lifetime record demands attention to an athlete who far exceeds the expectations of most major league starters.

The Yankees can use the fire burning in Luis Severino.
The Yankees can use the fire burning in Luis Severino.

Luis Severino has pitched to a 50-29 win-loss record (.633) and a3.39 ERA in a league known for its offensive power and efficiency.

Severino’s second round in arbitration was not as abrasive, and in 2020 he signed a four-year deal worth about $40 million that expires this year.

Severino’s supporters point to his outstanding season in 2019, when he went 19-8 (.733) over 191.1 innings. Since then, Luis Severino has been bitten by the injury bug, missing the 2020 season and nearly all of the 2021 campaign.

So, I guess everyone is saying, “Will the real Luis Severino please stand up?

Who Needs The Other More?

I will say this. Cortes has snared the “nasty “label, but no one is nastier than Luis Severino when he’s staring at a hitter while deciding on what pitch to draw from in his arsenal.

On 49 pitches, Severino (lat) completed 3.1 innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, allowing one run on two hits and one walk while striking out three batters.

Meanwhile, there is no indication that Yankee’s free agent signee Carlos Rodon is anywhere close to action due to lingering back issues.

While all players are at the beckon call of the team they labor for, and there is a protocol a player is expected to follow, the Yankees have no time to waste bringing Severino to the forefront as soon as possible by releasing this tiger from his cage.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.