TAMPA, Fla. — After his last outing on Friday, Luis Severino said his arm felt “real tight.”
Which part of his arm?
“My whole arm,” he said.
Deep red flags went off in Severino’s mind. When you’ve thrown a total of 23 2/3 innings over the last three seasons (including postseason) because of serious shoulder, elbow and groin injuries, how could they not?
“The next day,” Severino said, “I was worried.”
But the Yankees were not as worried. They chalked it up to “general soreness” after Severino had ramped up to 49 pitches in his second spring training start. The did scratch Severino from his scheduled start on Wednesday, opting instead for a bullpen session, and, if that went well, a final spring training start on Saturday.
“Pretty good,” Severino said when asked how he felt after Wednesday’s bullpen session. “Today, it was good to keep moving forward.”
So Severino will start against Atlanta on Saturday in his final outing of this shortened spring training.
Asked if his arm was still sore, Severino said: “Not anymore. But yes, the next day, I was like ‘general soreness.’ I was real tight — more than normal. So I came in and talked to the trainers and said, ‘What was the problem? What was going on?’ “
On Wednesday, the relieved Severino was honest about how concerned he was. Even though the Yankees didn’t send him for any tests, the righthander did have a “here we go again” fear when his arm didn’t feel right.
“It was [alarming] in the beginning because you think, ‘Oh, this is it,’ “ he said. “Everything is past me: Tommy John (surgery), groin, all that stuff. The next day I was worried. But I got better the next day and the day after that, so . . . I was feeling good about my arm the next couple days.”
Severino is lined up to start the second game of the season on April 9 against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
“That’s my mindset right now,” he said. “Getting ready for my first start in New York. I think after today if everything goes well tomorrow, I’ll feel good tomorrow. I think I have a start on Saturday and that’ll be it.”
Severino, who has a 17.18 ERA in two spring outings, said he didn’t feel anything during his 1 2/3 inning stint against the Phillies on Friday.
“I didn’t feel nothing until the next morning,” he said. “It was my whole arm. Pec. Forearm. It was like, general. I couldn’t do much on that day.”
After throwing all of his pitches in the bullpen on Wednesday, Severino seemed satisfied with the Yankees’ explanation: His whole arm soreness was caused not by a new injury, but because he hasn’t pitched much since he signed a four-year, $40-million contract extension before the 2019 season.
“I haven’t done this in a while,” he said. “I haven’t built [up] to be a starter. I haven’t pitched like, ‘This time, you have 40 pitches, next time you’ve got 65 and all that stuff.’ I’m getting used to more work, I would say. But like I said, right now I feel pretty good.”