Severino to Start Yankees Spring Opener

Joe Girardi announced on Sunday who the New York Yankees‘ starting pitchers would be for the first few Spring Training games.

Wednesday’s game will be Luis Severino, Thursday will be Ivan Nova, and Friday, Bryan Mitchell.  These guys will be on four days, three days, and six days rest, respectively, given their current schedule.  The six days of rest for Mitchell is unlikely as he could throw another live batting practice or bullpen session before his start on Friday.

Severino needs to get off to a hot start, as Joe Girardi has only named Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and Nathan Eovaldi as definite pieces the Yanks’ regular season rotation.  He will need to compete for one of the remaining two positions with Ivan Nova and CC Sabathia.

Severino is only 22-years-old, but he could be the best arm on New York’s staff.  He throws 95-plus on the fastball, a change-up in the low-to-mid 80s, and a hard slider that rounds out his heater and change-up.  In just 11 major league starts, he went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA, 56 strikeouts and 22 walks.  He is young, and it showed at times.  Severino could work to bring walk numbers down a little, though they are not unreasonable for a youthful pitcher.  His biggest trouble though?  The long ball.  Last season, Severino gave up nine homers in 11 games (1.30 HR/9).

Not good, but pitching in the Bronx is no easy task and it is just 11 games; a small sample size for a 22-year-old pitcher.  He shows a lot of promise otherwise.

In his four-year, 320.2 inning career in the minors, Severino gave up just eight home runs, so don’t panic Yankee fans.  This kid will be a top-of-the-rotation starter in no time.

I expect the Yankees’ opening day rotation (in no order) to be: Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia.

The Yankees open Spring Training on Wednesday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 ET.

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