ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Luis Severino's setback really wasn’t much of one.
After being scratched from his scheduled live BP session Wednesday morning because of back stiffness, the righthander took the mound at the club’s minor league complex Thursday morning.
Severino, recovering from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in February 2020, faced three batters, throwing around 30 pitches.
Among those facing Severino was outfielder Jasson Dominguez, the 18-year-old uber-prospect (after a lengthy at-bat, Dominguez flied out).
"Heard it went really well," Aaron Boone said. "Look forward to watching it. I heard he was 96 mph [with his fastball velocity] and that it went really well."
The expectation all along has been Severino returning to the Yankees at some point in the season’s second half.
Hicks sits again
Aaron Hicks, who missed Tuesday’s game with a bruised right shin, was sidelined Thursday with a sore left wrist that’s been bothering the outfielder "the last couple of days," Boone said. "We're hoping it's not a big deal," the manager added.
Hicks will undergo an MRI, general manager Brian Cashman said.
Luke Voit, who didn’t make his season debut until Tuesday night after having surgery in late March to repair a left meniscus tear, was given Thursday off (Voit played Wednesday as well).
"Feels great," Boone said. "Really wanted to be in there today."
Corey Kluber, 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA three starts into the season, goes into Friday night’s start in Baltimore 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA over his last four outings.
"I think it's just [been] minimizing a few mistakes throughout the course of the game," Kluber said of the difference of late. "I think that, even though those results have been better, I [still] feel like I have things I want to work on, I want to improve on, and that's always the case. I kind of look for the areas to improve on instead of dwelling on what's maybe been going right, just because I feel like that's the best way to continually improve."
Plaudits from the other dugout
It hasn’t been just the Yankees singing the praises of Gerrit Cole, who struck out 12 over eight scoreless innings in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory and who is off to a historic start to his season.
"It’s crazy," Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow said Thursday. "He’s a really good pitcher, always has been. Obviously, I played with him on the Pirates. He’s just like…each year he’s always such a competitor [and] he just gets better, better, better. It’s a really good run."
Cole improved to 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA and his 78 strikeouts through his first eight starts are the most by any Yankees pitcher in his first eight games of a season. Cole has walked just three, not walking a batter since his third start, April 12 against the Blue Jays.
"You go into the game knowing your hands are full, but saying that, he was probably tonight above and beyond," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He had everything working the way he wanted."