Yesterday Luis Severino took the mound for the Yankees for the second time this spring, and for the second time against the Blue Jays. In his first outing, Severino made short work of a Blue Jays JV lineup, breezing through his two innings. Yesterday, he faced at least four Jays starters, including six-time all-star, Jose Bautista.
While Severino did give up a two-run shot off the bat of “Joey Bats”, Manager Joe Girardi and Sevy’s batterymate-of-the-day Austine Romine both believe his outing was a further success and that Sevy is gaining more confidence. Severino’s fastball consistently touched 99 on the radar gun and most importantly his ever-important developing changeup was sharp.
After the game, manager Joe Girardi spoke with the media on Severino’s outing. “He threw a bunch of changeups today, threw his slider and his fastball was good,’’ Girardi said following a 3-2 loss to Toronto. “He made a mistake, but Jose Bautista has done that a lot in his career. I thought it was progress.’’
Severino also seemed pleased with the progression in his changeup following the game. “I was trying to have my command and make good pitches,’’ Severino said. “[Bautista] is one of the better hitters in the big leagues. It’s a nice challenge.’’
Possibly most importantly, Severino’s catcher Friday afternoon, Romine, commented on Sevy’s performance. Romine further complimented the changeup and took the blame for Bautista’s homer. “I called a fastball off the plate and it came back over the plate,’’ Romine said. “Put that on me.’’
Romine also believes the time Severino spent pitching out of the bullpen last year was great for the mental development of his game. “I think when he came back and was pitching out of the ‘pen, he got that back,” Romine said to Yankees beat reporter, Bryan Hoch.
“He has it now. You can see it in his eyes. He gives up a home run, doesn’t care, goes back in there and throws a good changeup. That’s something that he’s learning. He’s learning how to let it go and get back on the mound and make some pitches.”
With the way the Yankees are complimenting Severino, you’d have to think he’s a frontrunner for one of the two open rotation spots. If he doesn’t crack the rotation, he could be an option for Girardi in the bullpen. Either way, 2017 proves to be a make-or-break year for the 23-year-old righty as the Yankees look for him to develop into a potential ace.
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