Most of the time, winning 100 games in the Major Leagues will get a team the division title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In the case of the New York Yankees last season, neither of those things took place, courtesy of the bitter division rival Boston Red Sox.
The Yanks ended up having to play a Wild Card game against the Oakland A's, which they won. But then they were unceremoniously dumped by Boston in a 4 game division series loss. If they want to build on the regular season with postseason success, they'll need one constant: starting pitching. The ace, Luis Severino, already looks to have run into some trouble ahead of Opening Day.
Luis Severino will resume playing catch next week. Said he understands why he won’t be pitching in big league games until May. “I just want to be healthy and help my team.”— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 15, 2019
Sure, April will never be as important as September. New York has time to integrate Severino back into the rotation by the time May rolls around. Having won 19 games last year, the Yankees ace has solidified himself as a cornerstone of the rotation moving forward.
Whether or not Severino returns might not be the question, but how will he look upon his return? Can he be that same 200 strikeout presence that he has been the last two years? Time will tell as it relates to how that rotator cuff responds.