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Re-Emergence of Luis Severino Answers Yankees Playoff Question

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With the 2022 MLB season set to close this week, teams have started the process of lining up their pitching staffs for the playoffs. While some teams appear to have their staffs locked in place, one of the biggest Yankees playoff questions was who would serve as the number three starter in the rotation. Fortunately for the team, this Yankees playoff question appears to have been answered with the re-emergence of Luis Severino, since his return from the injured list.

Luis Severino’s Comeback Nearly Complete

Most recently, Luis Severino showed the Yankees staff that his return to form was complete as he methodically shut down the Texas Rangers, holding them to no hits and a lone walk over seven innings. Severino had previously been on the 60-day injured list due to a lat strain but has looked like his former dominant self since his return.

In three starts since returning from his injury, Luis Severino has 1.69 ERA while striking out 17 while only walking 5. Even more encouraging for the Yankees, Severino’s fastball velocity is noticeably higher since his return. In fact, Severino’s average fastball velocity has averaged over 97 MPH in the three starts; making it the first time he has averaged at least 97 MPH over three starts since 2018.

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While Severino dominated Texas, he did express some frustration with Yankees manager Aaron Boone after being lifted in the seventh inning without allowing a hit. However, for Severino to answer the Yankees playoff question of the number 3 starter, he needs to be available. While it was the unpopular decision, pulling Severino and ensuring his health will better ensure his availability to pitch in the MLB Playoffs.

In his two previous starts, Luis Severino went a combined nine innings against the Pirates and Blue Jays, allowing three earned runs. Since returning from the injured list, Severino has slowly built up his arm throwing 64 pitches in his return against Pittsburgh, 76 in his follow-up start against Toronto, and 94 in his no-hit bid.

Yankees Probable Playoff Rotation

The return of Luis Severino should help to answer the Yankees playoff questions regarding the starting rotation. The Yankees will likely start Gerrit Cole in the playoff opener while turning to the enigmatic Nestor Cortes for Game Two and Severino penciled in for Game Three. Afterward, due to the playoff schedule, the Yankees will likely be able to use Cole and Cortes if the series progresses to Games Four and Five.

Meanwhile, if the Yankees are able to advance to the American League Championship Series, the team will have the ability to either continue with a three-man rotation or use Jameson Taillon or Domingo German in the starting rotation.

Locking Severino into the rotation gives the Yankees some much-needed pitching depth. While the Yankees bullpen was dominant for most of the season, injuries and inconsistent play have recently taken a toll on the staff. Having lost Ron Marinaccio and Zack Britton in recent days, the Yankees now have the ability to move Taillon and German into the bullpen, giving the team a dynamic pitcher capable of giving the team multiple innings.

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Looking Forward

With one of the bigger Yankees playoff questions answered, the Yankees roster is starting to take shape. While the team still has some questions to answer in both the infield and the outfield, solidifying the pitching staff will go a long way to helping this team compete for their 28th World Series.

Let us know your thoughts on Luis Severino and the pitching staff in the comments below!

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Stephen Leonardi is a passionate Yankees, Jets, Devils and Nets fans. He is an avid writer covering his favorite teams and interesting topics around his favorite sports.