CHICAGO – After attempting to fix Luis Severino in between his last few starts, the Yankees are trying another route on Wednesday night: an opener.
Ian Hamilton will start against the White Sox before Severino is expected to pitch in relief.
The struggling Severino has a 13.85 ERA in the first inning this season, so it’s possible that having him come into the game after Hamilton throws an inning or two could help.
With a mostly rested bullpen and an off day on Thursday, the Yankees are in position to have a short leash with Severino if he continues to scuffle.
The Yankees had success earlier this season using an opener for Jhony Brito against the Blue Jays, though it has also backfired on them in the past when they had Deivi Garcia open for J.A. Happ in the 2020 ALDS.
Severino, a pending free agent, has posted a 7.74 ERA across 13 starts this season, including an 11.22 ERA over his last six starts.
The Yankees have been trying to use the days in between his starts to fix his issues, but that has yet to pay dividends.
In the days leading up to Wednesday, Severino had been preparing to start – including throwing a bullpen session on Monday – but the Yankees had been cautious not to say he was definitely starting, with manager Aaron Boone continuing to leave himself some wiggle room on the decision.
On Tuesday, Boone said Wednesday’s pitching plans depended on how Tuesday’s game played out.
Then, after the Yankees only needed Michael King and Jonathan Loaisiga in relief of Clarke Schmidt, Boone said the Yankees were “considering everything” for Wednesday’s starter.
If the Yankees were healthier, Severino may have already lost his spot in the rotation.
Nestor Cortes came off the IL early to take German’s rotation spot.
Randy Vasquez, who could have been in play to replace Severino, is expected to pitch in Rodon’s spot on Friday against the Marlins.