New York Yankees: The harsh decline of Luis Severino

Luis Severino has been the worst starting pitcher in baseball this season, both statistically and by his own admission. How did he get here? Yes, Severino has had some tough breaks with injuries, missing essentially three whole years from 2019-2021. When he returned in 2022 to the New York Yankees rotation, all seemed to be back on track. In 19 starts, he pitched 102 innings and a posted a 3.18 ERA, and he was still only 28 years old.

The New York Yankees were expected to have one of the strongest rotations in baseball this season. Through no fault of their own, injuries have plagued that rotation. With Nestor Cortes seeing most of his year spent on the IL; and newly signed Carlos Rodon spending a large chunk of the season on it as well, only to come back, struggle immensely, and then go back on it.

This makes Luis Severino’s rapid decline to being downright unplayable for the New York Yankees even harder to accept

Despite Severino’s clear inability to pitch, Aaron Boone and the Yankees decided to let him go against the best offensive lineup in baseball. So when Severino gave up a three-run home run to Marcell Ozuna in the first inning, nobody was surprised.

This situation has gotten so bad that you get this uneasy feeling in your stomach when you watch him pitch, waiting for him to make a mistake every time he steps on that mound. He knows he’s bad, the fans know he’s bad, everyone except Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman I guess? Bringing up a minor leaguer is surely better than what Severino can do, no? You have to be creative, you can’t continue letting this guy go out every fifth day to pitch. Any roster move at all to supplant Severino in this rotation could not be any worse than what they have.

Every time you put him out there, you are not only tanking your ability to win the game, but you’re also tanking whatever confidence and free agency stock he has left. It’s a disservice to him, his teammates (who probably feel awful for him as well), and the fans.

With all the injuries to the rotation and Severino’s struggles, it makes it even more mind-boggling that Brian Cashman did basically nothing at the trade deadline, and then insisted that the Yankees (now a .500 ball club) are “in it to win it.”

Obviously the New York Yankees have more problems than just Luis Severino, but seeing this once up-and-coming phenom turn into a smoldering pile of ash by age 29 makes any baseball fan drop their head in sadness. It’s not like his arm is dead either; Severino is still hitting the upper 90s on the radar gun, he still throws a 90 mph slider, but everything just finds the middle of the plate. “Nothing I do is working,” Severino said.

Maybe it’s through a sense of loyalty that Boone and the Yankees are treating Severino this way? Knowing what Severino was to this organization and knowing what he was able to do, thinking that he would suddenly “figure it out” or the Yankees could “fix” whatever was wrong with him? That’s basically been their entire approach with the roster the past four or five seasons; keeping it more or less the same and hoping for a different outcome.

In a way, Luis Severino’s decline this year perfectly encapsulates the New York Yankees. A once promising team that has fell drastically short of expectations and is in dire need of change.