The Yankees pitching staff just took a huge thump. Luis Severino was confirmed on Tuesday to require Tommy John Surgery to repair his injured elbow, effectively ending his 2020 season before it has a chance to begin.
Severino has been the Yankees' most effective starting pitcher these last three seasons when healthy, and was expected to help anchor a much-improved rotation in 2020 alongside free agent signing Gerrit Cole. That hope is now a thing of the past, as he now stares down an extended recovery process. On Tuesday evening, he responded to the unfortunate news with an official statement to fans.
"I am extremely disappointed that I will not be able to put on a Yankees uniform and comete with my teammates this year, " Severino writes, "but I promise that I will work tirelessly during this process to come back stronger than ever to make the greatest fans in baseball proud."
Severino missed nearly all of the 2019 regular season with a shoulder injury that was compounded by a mysterious latissimus dorsi ailment. He did return in late September, and pitched in the postseason as if he had been a starter all year.
That won't happen this year though, as Tommy John surgery often takes 12-15 months to fully recover. That means Yankees fans could be forced to wait until well into the 2021 season before seeing Sevy pitch again.
Severino's injury all but ensures that Cole is the undisputed No. 1 on this pitching staff. After him, however, the starting rotation is muddled, with only Masahiro Tanaka penciled in as a sure-fire contributor every week. The added absence of James Paxton to injury through the first few months of the season means Spring Training comes with even higher stakes for the likes of Jordan Montgomery, JA Happ, Luis Cessa and the young Deivi Garcia in competing for an all-important starting spot.