Some much-need reinforcements are expected to be hitting the Yankees‘ pitching staff with the final two weeks of the regular season upon us.
Aaron Boone said Sunday that Luis Severino‘s next time pitching would be “with us,” while Domingo German could very well be ready to go during this Texas Rangers series that’s getting started on Monday night in the Bronx.
And, boy, this couldn’t have come at a better time for New York, a team that is desperately looking for some consistency from its pitching staff.
After Gerrit Cole‘s surprise implosion against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, the Yanks dropped another winnable series and are now sitting 1.5 games back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot entering play on Monday. But now would be a perfect time to get that spot back with the Jays facing the Tampa Bay Rays and the Rangers — a 55-94 team — on the Bombers’ schedule.
To take control of this series, New York’s pitching — from the starters to the bullpen — needs to be better. Of course, we can talk about the offense and the inability to get to the Indians in two of the three games over the weekend — that’s certainly part of the equation here.
But the theme through this recent dull September stretch has been blown leads and inconsistency from the pitching staff, and Boone even pointed out that starting pitching is probably the one key thing that needs to be good to make it to the playoffs.
So, where does that put Severino and German? And more importantly, what’s the best way for them to help in the immediate?
Well, let’s start with the latter since he’s actually played this season. German has had an up-and-down year, especially when you look at how bad his month of June went (7.27 ERA). But he was much better in July, finding some consistency with his fastball location, which set up his breaking stuff nicely. Then, he got injured and has been down since the end of that month.
As for Severino, he’s had a setback in his Tommy John surgery rehab but has been doing well recently, good enough for the Yanks to say the next time he pitches is with them. His stuff is electric when he’s on, but there’s really no telling what to expect considering he hasn’t pitched in an MLB game since 2019.
Since Boone is confident that the Yanks have their group of starters set right now — Cole, Jameson Taillon (whenever he’s back from injury), Corey Kluber and Jordan Montgomery — the best way to utilize German and Severino should be as hybrid bullpen arms.
What do I mean by that? Whether it’s as an opener, following an opener for a few innings or even back-end, high pressure usage, these two pitchers know that they’re coming in to help their team win at all costs. It’s truly playoffs or bust for this club, and they could use any weapon they’ve got on both sides of the ball.
If that means German sets the tone for the game with someone going after him, fine. If Severino’s stuff plays to a certain hitter with runners on first and second in a close game, warm him up and get him in out of the bullpen.
Boone’s best use of both of them should be however the game presents itself in the moment. Personally, I’d think about German or Severino opening for a Nestor Cortes, Jr. maybe to get their feet wet, or have them come in relief in the middle innings first to get acclimated with the game again. From there, it’s no holds barred.
Boone and GM Brian Cashman surely have a game plan for these two hurlers, especially Severino given his lack of playing time. But again, 12 games remain with a Wild Card spot on the line.
If there were ever a time to see if these two can hit the ground running, it’s now.
Source: Yahoo Sports