Not all of the Yankees’ kids are all right.
The excitement of Aaron Judge homering for the second time in his two-game big-league career and Gary Sanchez going deep for the second time in a week was dulled by Sunday’s abbreviated start by Luis Severino in the Yankees’ 12-3 loss to the Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Severino was part of the untouchable core of minor-league prospects at the 2015 trade deadline. He became an integral part of the rotation late last season with a 5-3 record and 2.89 ERA. Now, at 1-8 with a 7.19 ERA, he can’t even maintain his spot on the major-league roster.
Severino, 22, immediately was sent down to Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre after being charged with seven runs in 3 2⁄3 innings. It was his second demotion in a week and third this season.
Joe Girardi — whose team was denied in its bid to go five games over .500 for the first time this season — was a bit late to the interview room as he broke the news to Severino.
“If he wants me to work over there, I’m going to go over there and work,’’ Severino said of being sent down. “It’s been tough, but a lot of players have been through this. Just have to keep working.’’
Severino, an emergency replacement for the injured Nathan Eovaldi, got into trouble with his second pitch, which Logan Forsythe lined for a double. After Severino struck out Kevin Kiermaier, Evan Longoria (four RBIs) lined an RBI double.
Forsythe hit a home run in the third for a 2-0 lead. Judge homered to right-center off Jake Odorizzi (7-5) in the bottom of the inning — he and Joe Lefebvre (1980) are the only Yankees to hit a home run in each of their first two games — but Severino was about to encounter big problems in the fourth.
With one out, Matt Duffy singled, Nick Franklin doubled and Corey Dickerson unloaded a three-run homer to leftfield just over a leaping Aaron Hicks. “I tried to throw a slider for a strike to Dickerson and he hit it well,’’ Severino said.
Severino gave up two more hits to Steven Souza Jr. and Bobby Wilson before fanning Forsythe — his seventh strikeout — and being removed from the game.
Luis Cessa walked Kiermaier to load the bases and allowed Longoria’s three-run double to right-center, which just eluded Judge as he made a full-out dive near the warning track. Longoria was 7-for-11 with six RBIs in the three-game series.
Sanchez hit a two-out, two-run homer to leftfield in the fourth to make it 8-3, but in the seventh, Cessa gave up an RBI single by Duffy and a three-run homer by Franklin. It was surprising that the Yankees didn’t announce his demotion, too.
Girardi said of Severino, “We want him to go work it out. We think that he can be a really good starter at this level. But it’s hard when you’re in games like this, but we were forced to do this because of an injury. We sent him down earlier in the week but we had an injury. We needed him to start.
“It’s frustrating to get sent up and down. But to be successful at this level, you have to have a lot of mental toughness. And this is part of it. You have to be able to fight through adversity. If you’re not able to fight through adversity, you’re going to be an up-and-down player because you’re going to go through it during the course of a game.’’
Asked about Severino’s state of mind, Girardi said, “We already talked to him. Yeah, you always worry about kids’ psyches. But this is not unusual. He can go talk to a lot of different people that [have] been through [this]. You know, you go up and down, up and down, up and down.’’
Severino said his confidence remains intact. “I feel good,’’ he said. “My confidence is good. I have to work more on my changeup and my fastball command and I’ll be good.’’