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Yankees’ Luis Severino Severino shows old self

It was a quick look rather than an overall view, but Luis Severino wore an arsenal that looked a lot like Luis Severino of old.

Making his debut in 2022 and making his first start since Game 3 of the 2019 ALCS, the former ace showed things that could potentially allow him to resemble a co-ace with Gerrit Cole. A lot has to happen for Severino to become the old Severino, but speed has returned ahead of results.

After three brutal seasons — his 2019 lasted 12 innings and required surgery on Tommy John in February 2020, his 2020 season was wiped away and 2021 was mostly lost to a groin strain and shoulder strain — Severino’s things were often in Saturday’s 4-2 win old-fashioned against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, though his line — more than three innings, two runs on five hits with five strikeouts over 65 pitches — was far from it.

“I thought he threw the ball really well overall,” manager Aaron Boone said after the Yankees’ bullpen hit Boston without a hit after Severino was picked up. “I think it’s another building block. … The only flaw, otherwise I found him quite perceptive.”

Luis Severino
Luis Severino
Robert Sabo

The only mistake was a fastball to Alex Verdugo, who ran across the plate and crushed to the right to put the Yankees in a 2-0 hole in the second inning.

Severino didn’t get much defensive help behind him on Saturday. Before Verdugo’s homer, Anthony Rizzo couldn’t make a hard play against what would have been a foul by JD Martinez, who then hit a grounder before Verdugo’s shot that Isiah Kiner-Falefa couldn’t set up clean.

Later in the inning, Joey Gallo slowly read a Trevor Story liner to the left, causing him to dive — and huff — for what would have been an out and became a double.

Severino had to rely on his belongings to strand Story. He dueled Christian Vazquez over 12 pitches, including a 100.3 mph fastball. Boone nearly had to pull the right-hander whose pitch count was running up, but Severino staged a soft comeback to escape trouble.

Beginning his first full season in what is expected to be full health since 2018, the 28-year-old’s fastball averaged 97.8 mph. During his All-Star campaign in 2017, when he posted a 2.98 ERA in 31 starts, he averaged 97.6 mph with the pitch. Last year, he averaged 95 in his six innings after injuries .3 miles per hour.

Severino said “of course” it gives him hope he can return to the star he was a few years ago, but he’s not focused on radar guns.

“I wasn’t trying to throw 100. … I think I made good pitches, it doesn’t matter if it’s 100 or 95,” Severino said. “I think [mixing it up] is part of my game now.”

However, with the better speed, its other offerings are also improving. All three of his third-inning strikeouts ended in changeups.

Everything was encouraging except for a throw and a third inning mishap. Severino took the mound without the PitchCom device in his cap, which allows him to hear the pitch call. Pitching Coach Matt Blake had to visit the tiny speaker that Severino forgot. Kyle Higashioka tried to call a pitch but nothing happened.

“I didn’t hear him,” Severino said, laughing.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/10/yankees-luis-severino-severino-shows-signs-of-old-self/ Yankees’ Luis Severino Severino shows old self

JOE HERNANDEZ

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