Posted on April 10, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine

New York Yankees Luis Severino
Image via si.com

Good news on the injury front continues to evade the New York Yankees. The club announced Tuesday night that ace Luis Severino will be shut down for the next six weeks after being diagnosed with a Grade 2 lat strain. Severino won’t even pick up a ball for the next six weeks. Such a timeline means Severino will likely remain on the Injured List until at least June.

Severino was sidelined early in spring training because of inflammation in his rotator cuff. He had been throwing for two weeks while working his way back from that injury but didn’t improve to the point of being able to throw from the mound. He was sent for an MRI that showed the lat strain, which wasn’t present when he had the MRI that revealed the rotator cuff inflammation. The Yankees believe the lat strain is a separate injury that Severino developed while rehabbing his previous injury.

“I don’t know if ‘relief’ is the right word, but a little bit like, ‘OK, now we know what it is,'” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday. “Obviously, it’s going to take a little more time now, but a little comfort in knowing this is what it is, it appears to be treatable; just got to take some time, and hopefully we’ll get a healthy, strong and fresh Sevy back for a good portion of the season.”

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When Severino was initially shut down with the shoulder problem, the Yankees were optimistic that he’d be back by mid-April. However, the 25-year-old Severino is now set to miss at least the first two months of the season. Both Severino and CC Sabathia spending the early part of the season on the IL has thrown a wrench into the team’s rotation plans. Fortunately, both Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga have pitched well in their first two starts.

“We’ve already seen a lot of quality pitchers step up for us,” says Boone. “We’ve seen some young pitchers take more steps for us. So yeah, we feel like we’re equipped to handle a lot of things.”

Of course, Severino’s absence is officially a long-term absence, meaning the Yankees will have to depend on their rotation depth a little longer. On the bright side, Sabathia is expected to be activated for a start this weekend. The Yankees also signed veteran Gio Gonzalez late in spring training. Gonzalez has pitched well early in the triple-A season and could help the Yankees fill Severino’s spot in the rotation.

That being said, Severino was a big part of the team’s plans at the start of spring training. Despite German stepping up and Masahiro Tanaka pitching like an ace early in the season, the Yankees need Severino. With several key position players on the DL, there’s more pressure on the New York pitching staff these days to lead the team. Through two weeks, the Yankees have done well to get by without Severino. However, it looks like they’ll have to survive without him for another two months, which will be easier said than done.

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