Yankees general manager Brian Cashman remains optimistic that Luis Severino will be able to return and help the Yankees in their quest for a 28th World Series title. He isn’t sure, however, exactly what that will look like.
Severino — who has missed the entire season with shoulder and lat injuries — will be examined by team medical personnel on Saturday and then be “plotted on course” for a throwing program, Cashman said in a Friday interview with MLB Network Radio. He described the righthander as “at the end of the healing process” and thinks the throwing program could begin as early as Sunday.
Time, however, is the issue. Cashman noted that pitchers show up at spring training having done a winter throwing program and then need six weeks to ramp up to starting a game. Severino is starting from a dead stop and could need more than six weeks, if that is the goal.
Another possibility, Cashman said, is that the Yankees end up with “an abbreviated” version of Severino or use him out of the bullpen.
Of the time left, Cashman said, “It might be long enough to get a fully 100-plus, every-five-days-starter out of the guy. What we’re going to do is make sure we do what’s best for Luis Severino and his career because what’s best for him is what’s best for us. If we don’t have enough time to stretch him out fully, we’ll have an abbreviated version,” which Cashman indicated could be 65 to 75 pitches per outing.
Manager Aaron Boone said reliever Dellin Betances, who hasn’t pitched in a game this season, will begin throwing on Monday. Betances had a shoulder impingement diagnosed in spring training, then had a setback in his rehab when he was diagnosed with a strained lat after an MRI in June.
Said Cashman, "We’re going to need the Severinos and Betances to get where we want to go.”
Voit likely to be activated Saturday
Luke Voit is a good bet to be in the Yankees' starting lineup Saturday against Toronto. The first baseman went on the injured list after suffering an abdominal strain during the June 29 game against the Red Sox in London. Boone said Friday that Voit was en route from Tampa to New York “and we’ll likely activate him tomorrow.”
The Yankees optioned infielder Breyvic Valera to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
When he suffered the injury, Voit had a .388/.483/.571 slash line in his last 13 games. He is batting .280 with 17 home runs and 50 RBIs overall.
Sterling back to work
John Sterling returned to the radio booth on Friday night. The long-time Yankees play-by-play man, who had felt run down, missed the four-game series against Tampa Bay before the All-Star break, the first games he had missed since 1989. Before July 4, which coincidentally was his 81st birthday, Sterling had worked 5,060 straight Yankees games since '89, according to the Yankees. . . . Boone said Giancarlo Stanton, on the IL since June 26 with a right knee strain, still is in “the rehab” phase and isn’t close to resuming baseball activities. . . . The Yankees observed a moment of silence for former pitcher Jim Bouton, who passed away Wednesday night at age 80.