SECAUCUS, N.J. — Pedro Martinez is not surprised by the season the Yankees’ Luis Severino is having, and he will not be surprised if the 23-year-old pitcher has an even better one next year.
“Severino is as rich when it comes to stuff, to poise, to makeup, to pitch in the big leagues as anybody,” Martinez said Thursday.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Severino next year contending for the Cy Young right around with [Corey] Kluber and [Chris] Sale and those guys, having his name as an ace. So no, it doesn’t surprise me at all.
“I’m extremely happy for him and I’m pretty sure this is only one [big] year of many years that he’s going to have in the major leagues.”
The Hall of Fame pitcher and MLB Network analyst worked with Severino last offseason. While Severino has spoken publicly about the help Martinez gave him in their native Dominican Republic last winter, Martinez, 45, generally has avoided doing so, preferring that credit go to the player and the Yankees’ coaching staff.
But Martinez told Newsday, “He figured we were very similar. He idolized me when I was pitching and he was a kid watching me at home. And he figured we look alike a lot and he wanted to actually correct some of the things that he was doing wrong, and I was able to help him out.
“In reality, the credit needs to go to Severino for the work he did, for his mature approach to the things that I was trying to introduce to him and then also to the Yankees for actually keeping what he brought over from those sessions that we had at home and making sure that he continues to execute those.”
Martinez worked with Severino on his mechanics, mound presence and poise.
Severino (13-6) allowed two runs, three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in eight innings as the Yankees beat the Orioles, 8-2, on Friday night. That lowered his ERA to 2.93 and his WHIP to 1.03. He has 218 strikeouts in 184 1⁄3 innings.
He struggled as a starter and excelled as a reliever last season, finishing at 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA.