A Twinge

Luis Severino felt a twinge in his shoulder and just like that, the Yankees rotation is imperiled. The conclusion of the battery of tests they ran on him was mild inflammation and the remedy is shutting him down for two weeks. Considering Opening Day is 22 days away, that means he is not going to start as originally planned on March 28th.

While many are calling for the Yankees to grab Keuchel or even Gio Gonzalez off the free agent market, I don’t see it happening. Keuchel is still too expensive and the example of Alex Cobb hangs over any free agency signing at this point. Cobb signed on March 21st last year and the Orioles started him for the first time April 14th, it didn’t go well. In his three April starts, Cobb didn’t make it to the fifth inning and gave up 17 earned runs and 30 hits. Pitchers need the weeks of spring training to get their arms ready and anyone added now won’t have sufficient time to prepare. If the prognosis on Severino was worse, then you consider a free agent who you could plug in later, but the Yankees aren’t there yet.

I also think the schedule helps them. For the first three weeks of the season, they could set uo their pitching so they only need a fifth starter once. Now rain/snow outs could change that, but if Severino starts throwing again in two weeks, he probably could return right around the middle of April when the start a stretch of 13-straight games. Cessa, German, and Loaisiga are the most likely options to fill in for now.

Of course if Severino can’t resume throwing or another pitcher goes down, the panic button will clearly be pressed.