EL NUEVO DIARIO, TAMPA, Florida.- The Yankees count on the return of Dominican Luis Severino to the rotation sometime this summer, thinking of the right as if it were a mid-season acquisition. However, the two-time All-Star player believes he can return earlier than expected.
Severino has been taking long shots from 90 feet and is scheduled to increase the distance to 120 feet this week. His next step would be to pitch off a mound, something that could happen before the end of spring training. All of that is part of a regimen to increase your speed and endurance when facing batters.
“Mentally and physically, I feel good,” Severino told MLB.com. “I hope to return sooner [que el verano], but for now I don’t have an exact date for that. The most important thing is that I feel good and am taking things day by day. We’re close to doing bullpen (sessions) so we’ll see how I feel and how much progress I’ve made. “
Severino underwent Tommy John surgery on February 27, 2020, forcing plans to stop the Dominican to make it 1-2 with ace Gerrit Cole at the top of the Yankees’ rotation. Severino hopes at some point he can pitch alongside Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon and the other Bombers starters.
“Our rotation is going to be great, man,” Severino exclaimed. “We’re going to have six, seven, eight guys who would be good pitchers on any team. I hope nothing happens to any of them, but if something goes wrong, we have someone else there ”.
The manager of the Yankees, Aaron Boone, affirmed that he has Severino’s contribution for this 2021.
“I think he is going to be part of our team at some point this year; the question is when, ”Boone said. “Whether it’s midseason, by the All-Star break or the trade deadline – that will become clearer over the next few months. The boy looks good right now. It is an important part of our plans ”.
Being away from the team during the 2020 season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for Severino, who pointed to several teammates and other players around the league as resources during his recovery. Severino said former Yankee Adam Ottavino was especially helpful to him.
Left-hander Jordan Montgomery revealed that he asked Severino not to rush through his rehab and to go through the process step by step.
“I remember how excited I was to get on a mound, because you’re always eager to get to that next phase,” Montgomery recalled. “My best advice would be not to rush and follow the process step by step. There really is no reason to strain your arm in your bullpen sessions right now. I felt a little anxious, got ahead of the process, and ended up having a shoulder mishap that delayed my recovery for four weeks. So really treat it like another phase and move on. “
Severino said he experienced some uneasiness when he returned to shooting, but is motivated that his process seems to be going from strength to strength so far. The Dominican has been throwing only fastballs and has already been notified that he could make breakthrough and slow pitches next week.
“I am 100% sure that I will regain the level that I had in the past,” said Severino. “I feel very strong. When I have the opportunity to return to New York, I will go back to being the same as before.