The Yankees’ quest to upgrade the starting rotation has many fronts.
None is more attention grabbing than general manager Brian Cashman working the trade market for a difference-maker with big names such as Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman and Trevor Bauer floating in the ether. The other fronts, however, could prove plenty intriguing.
For example, how about Luis Severino?
Severino, who has not pitched this season because of spring training shoulder inflammation and an April lat strain during his rehab, said he will throw off a mound next Tuesday or Wednesday. It is likely the start of a five-to-six-week process for the righthander who won 19 games last season.
before he is back in pinstripes but the Yankees would benefit from the return of a righthander who finished third in 2017 AL Cy Young voting and won 19 games last season.
“I am very happy. It’s going to be fun,” Severino said Tuesday of getting back on the mound. “Right now I feel good. Everything feels good and I feel healthy.”
Severino’s improving status — as well as that of righthander Domino German — will have no impact on Cashman’s bid to upgrade the rotation through a trade, the GM said at a HOPE Week event in Manhattan on Tuesday.
“We’re always going to try to reinforce and improve and add to our arsenal because we have a whole second half of the season to play,” he said. “What you have today might not be there tomorrow.”
Severino has been building arm strength by throwing on flat ground from 90 feet for about a week. The club will up that distance and then get him on a mound.
He will throw bullpen sessions and a simulated game or two before going on a rehab assignment.
“What that timeline looks like . . . you’re kind of looking at a spring training scenario when you’re talking about a starting pitcher and getting him built up,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Severino has been eager to advance more quickly, but the Yankees don’t want to see him suffer another setback like the lat strain. German, who has been on the IL since June 9 with a left hip flexor strain, was the Yankees’ best starting pitcher the first two months of the season. After his May 21 start, he was 9-1 with a 2.60 ERA. He was nothing close to that as he made three more starts with the bothersome hip before being shelved.
“It was definitely the discomfort there when pitching,” he said through an interpreter Tuesday. “I felt I was losing a little bit of strength when I landed. But the way the recovery is going now . . . I feel I should be able to get back and move on.”
German said he is free of pain and began playing catch Monday for the first time in more than a week.
The Yankees haven’t drawn up a timeline for his return, but probably target a date in July.
“The recovery is going very well. The sensation is gone,” German said. “I am doing exercises and stretches I could not do before. Now I am able to do those with no discomfort. I am moving in the right direction.”
The news was not as good about Dellin Betances and Jordan Montgomery.
Betances had a shoulder impingement before the start of the season and was on the cusp of returning when he suffered a “low-grade” lat strain about a week ago.
“It’s getting better, but I still feel it and I’ve got to wait till I’m symptom free before I can throw,” Betances said. “It’s definitely frustrating.”
I felt like I got over the shoulder thing and for something else to pop up, it’s definitely frustrating. Just got to stay the course and . . . . be ready for the hunt, at this point.
Montgomery, who had Tommy John surgery last June, cut short a scheduled bullpen session at the team’s facilities in Tampa.
"He walked off. He had a little discomfort,” Boone said. “So we’re hoping it’s nothing more than just not feeling that great on a particular day, which can happen as you’re coming back from that.”
With Brian Heyman and Peter Botte