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Filling the hole Luis Severino leaves

Luis Severino is out for the rest of the season, and now the Yankees will have to try to figure out what to do next.

Losing Sevy is a tremendous blow considering ZiPS projected him to have a 4.8 fWAR, and blockbuster deals we’ve seen in the past the like CC in 2008 or Justin Verlander in 2017 are few and far between. The hopes of a Max Scherzer caliber player entering the fold is something you just can’t count on to replace that production. Now if the Yankees were to add depth from the free agent market, it’s bare out there.

Still, there is one decent option.

That option is Colin McHugh. It isn’t a sexy name, but if the Yankees are going to figure out how to make up some of that projected 4.8 fWAR, he could be a piece of the puzzle.

ZiPS has Colin McHugh projected for a 1.3 fWAR, a 4 ERA and 4.05 FIP. With Domingo German coming back halfway through the season, he’s projected to have a 1.7 fWAR. Between the two of them they can potentially have a combined 3.0 fWAR in the empty rotation slot.

ZiPS also projects Jordan Montgomery and Michael King to have a 1.1 fWAR respectively. If the combination of these three ends up between a 3 and 4 fWAR, consider it a win. Pitchers who are projected in that range are Zack Wheeler (3.5 fWAR) and Marcus Stroman (3.2 fWAR) too.

Obviously any projection system isn’t gospel. Baseball isn’t played on paper but played on a field. The projections should at least give you an idea that, while a combo of Colin McHugh, Gumby and an unproven rookie might not be Luis Severino, they can at least come together to fill the void somewhat.

McHugh in his career

It’s like I said — Colin McHugh isn’t the sexy fix that you’ll see people throw out on Twitter, but he’s proven to be a good ballplayer over the last few years. Plus he’s certainly a better option than other free agents such as Jason Vargas. From 2014, the year McHugh came in 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting, to 2016, he logged:

543 IP
3.71 ERA
3.57 FIP
105 ERA+

From 2017 to 2019 McHugh danced between the rotation and bullpen while also dealing with some injuries. During that time he posted:
210 IP
3.43 ERA
3.66 FIP
126 ERA+

After being drafted by the Mets, McHugh made his debut in Queens and then went to Colorado for a season. For the last six years, McHugh pitched for the Houston Astros.