DETROIT – Scouts watching Luis Severino’s third rehab outing with Double-A Trenton felt the righthander was major-league ready.
The Yankees agree.
The ace righthander, who has missed the entire season since getting hurt toward the end of spring training, is likely to make his 2019 Yankees debut Tuesday night at the Stadium against the Angels, Aaron Boone said before his team’s doubleheader Thursday against the Tigers.
“Not far off at all,” Boone said when asked how far off Severino looked from the pitcher who went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA last season and 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA the season before. “Now it’s just a matter of really just getting real sharp. But you can tell he feels good. The stuff is there.”
The 25-year-old Severino pitched for Trenton against Bowie in Game 2 of the Eastern League Championship series on Wednesday night. His fastball sat at 96-97 mph and peaked at 98, according to scouts in attendance. Severino allowed four runs (only one earned) and five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
“Defense hurt him,” said one opposing team scout, who used “sharp” to describe Severino’s slider and changeup in the 64-pitch outing. “The stuff was good. Velo was up from his last start. I wouldn’t hesitate bringing him up.”
Boone said if everything goes according to plan, Severino should be able to make three starts with the Yankees before the end of the regular season, allowing him to get built up to what would be considered normal for a starting pitcher.
Severino has been out all season with right rotator cuff inflammation and a lat strain suffered during his rehab.
“No question we’re excited to get him back,” Boone said. “Feel like he’s been in pretty good place physically now for a couple of months and building really good momentum . . . He could be a game-changer guy for us, there’s no question.”
Boone said Masahiro Tanaka will start Friday in Toronto, followed by James Paxton. As for Sunday, Boone said it could be a “bullpen day,” but he didn’t rule out the possibility that Jordan Montgomery, rehabbing from the Tommy John surgery he underwent June 7, 2018, will get the start.
Boone didn’t exactly knock down a report stating the Yankees would consider going the opener route for all playoff games not started by James Paxton – “I would say anything and everything’s on the table for us,” he said – but the manager stressed organizational talks for the postseason also haven’t begun in earnest.
“That’s something we’ll probably start to get into a lot on this homestand,” Boone said. “Just kind of starting to talk through things, but nothing real intense yet.”