Severino will miss opening day due to inflamed shoulder
TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees ace Luis Severino will miss opening day because of an inflamed right shoulder that caused him to be scratched from his first scheduled spring training start on Tuesday.
Severino won’t throw for two weeks, manager Aaron Boone said after a 5-1 win over Atlanta.
“Obviously, anytime a starting pitcher and a guy like Sevie walks off while he’s warming up to start a game, you always get worried and concerned about that,” Boone said. “But it sounds like the shoulder is pretty clean, it’s just the inflammation issue. So if that’s the case, then hopefully two weeks is something that will do the trick, then he can start ramping back up with his throwing program, but we’ll re-evaluate it also at the same time.”
Severino, a 25-year-old right-hander, was slated to face the Braves but was replaced by Stephan Tarpley after feeling discomfort after throwing his first slider during his pregame bullpen session.
“Obviously a bummer,” teammate J.A. Happ said. “Glad to hear that the severity is not anything worse than that, hopefully.”
Masahiro Tanaka, Patrick Corbin, CC Sabathia and Happ are also projected to be in the Yankees’ rotation, and Luis Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German are possible replacements.
“We’ll be covered and feel like the guys that you would consider our sixth and seventh starters and things like that, we feel like we’re in good shape,” Boone said.
Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez are available as free agents.
Severino avoided an arbitration hearing with the Yankees and agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a team option and could be worth $52.25 million for five seasons.
Severino has a 41-25 career record with a 3.51 ERA.
The 25-year old right-hander is a two-time All-Star. He went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA last year, winning 14 of his first 16 decisions but then five of his last 11. He came out early in both of his postseason starts, going 0-1 in seven innings.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks, who agreed to a $70 million, seven-year contract, was out of the lineup for the second straight day due to lower back soreness.
Hicks was hurt during batting practice Friday night and still has discomfort. He hasn’t resumed hitting or other baseball activities.
“I feel good about the way I’m progressing,” Hicks said. “Day by day it gets better. Obviously it’s slower than I want it to be, but I feel like I’m headed in the right direction.”
Acquired from Minnesota in November 2015, Hicks has been on the disabled list in all six of his big league seasons, nine trips in all for hamstring strains (three times), oblique strains (twice), shoulder, forearm and intercostal strains, and a concussion.
A 29-year-old switch-hitter, Hicks took over as the Yankees primary center fielder last year and set career highs with 137 games, 27 homers and 79 RBIs.
Tanaka has added a knuckle curve to his pitching repertoire. “I really didn’t like how the previous curveball was moving,” he said through a translator. “So I wanted to try something new and that’s where basically I have a new curveball now.” Tanaka, 12-6 with 3.75 ERA in 27 starts last season, likes the pitch and how it’s moving. “It’s something that I’ve been kind of been playing around with or trying during the later part of the season last year,” Tanaka said. “Actually I’ve thrown a couple in a game towards the end of last season. So I kept working on it and working on it.”