If all goes according to plan, Luis Severino believes he could start a rehab assignment late next week.
Severino, after throwing his third bullpen in the last six days Thursday, said he will face hitters Sunday in New York, then head to Tampa when his teammates go west for a nine-game trip that starts Tuesday in Oakland.
“After that, I have another sim game and then pitch in maybe High-A or [another minor-league game],” Severino said. He started the season on the injured list with right rotator cuff inflammation and had a setback in April when he suffered a lat strain.
General manager Brian Cashman, though positive on the righthander’s progress, wasn’t quite ready to put a date on anything; rehab assignment or otherwise.
“At some point a major leaguer, yes,” Cashman said Thursday. “When? I’m not going to echo his commentary, but I do know he’s progressing and we’re certainly hopeful … He’s slowly but surely getting back in the mix and hopefully we’ll be able to deploy him at some point.”
Severino said “arm strength” has been the most encouraging aspect of the bullpens. “I feel that my velocity’s going to be there when I come back,” he said.
How the Yankees continue building that arm strength once Severino returns has not been determined. Among the options the club is considering is using Severino out of the bullpen or building him up the way starters get brought along in the spring.
“Like everything else, it’s going to depend on where we’re at, what our needs are at the time,” Cashman said.
Although Domingo German (16-2), the MLB leader in wins, is on an undisclosed innings limit this year, it won’t impact him in the postseason.
“There’s no innings limit when you’re in October,” Cashman said, indicating that the three weeks German spent on the IL earlier in the season adequately regulated his innings (he’s at 116). “All safeties are off.”