Aaron Boone put the no-risk, potentially high-reward move this way:
“Definitely good to have another Severino in the mix.”
That would be Rafael Severino, the 19-year-old brother of Yankees ace Luis Severino. He was signed by the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic on Monday as an international free agent.
The righthander will start his career pitching out of the Yankees academy in the Dominican Republic.
“He’s a great pitcher,” Luis Severino said, referencing his brother’s fastball-slider-sinker-changeup combination. “He knows how to pitch. He doesn’t throw that hard, he’s really skinny. But when he gets stronger, he’s going to throw hard.”
Severino joked that his brother, whose fastball sits in the range of 88-89 mph, probably needs to hit the weight room. He said Rafael is about 6-2 and “like 100 pounds.”
Luis lauded Rafael’s conditioning, saying “he can run [forever] and doesn’t get tired,” as well as his approach on the mound.
Asked who taught Rafael to pitch, Luis smiled. “Not from me,” he said. “At that age, I wasn’t that smart.”
He added: “When I was 19 . . . I had a fastball and slider, that was it. He has all these pitches he can throw whenever he wants.”
Luis, of course, sells himself a bit short. At 19, he already was in his third season of professional ball, spending the 2013 season between the GCL Yankees and low Class A Charleston. He made his big-league debut two seasons later.
Severino (13-2) leads the major leagues in victories and has a 1.98 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.
The Reds were among the teams with a scout in attendance at the Stadium on Monday, a reminder that Cincinnati has an available starter on the market who isn’t likely to cost much in terms of prospects and suddenly is pitching well.
That would be Matt Harvey, who threw 5 2⁄3 scoreless innings Sunday against the Brewers and is 4-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 starts since the Reds acquired him from the Mets, including 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in his last three outings. One rival scout who watched Harvey against the Brewers said, “That’s as good as I’ve seen him since 2013.”