Friday, August 26, 2016
SEVERINO 'DOESN'T GET IT' & I DON'T KNOW WHY
It's been a frustrating season for Luis Severino. His rookie year left all of us amazed and excited to see him grow this season but he hasn't. Looking back on this season it is easy to see some big differences compared to last year. He even admits to some of them but doesn't understand his demotion....and I just don't understand why he doesn't understand.
After posting a 2.89 ERA and striking out 56 batters over 62 innings as a rookie the expectations for Severino were high going into this year. Maybe that was unfair to put so much weight on a then 21 year old kid but this the Yankees after all. This season Severino went 1-8 with a 7.19 ERA in 12 games, 9 of those he started. Based on the numbers alone I can understand the demotion as he has even called it, read more HERE.
Severino has said that he has lost some confidence, and after looking at some stats I believe it. There is a drastic difference between his batting average against right handed hitters. Last year, Severino struck out 28% of right handed hitters he faced, and this year right handed hitters are hitting him hard with a .330 BA against him and even minor leaguers have a .279 BA.
The increased contact rate may also have to do with him not having a reliable third pitch to throw. This season Severino stopped throwing his change up. He also lost command on his fastball and velocity on his slider. With major league hitters you need a third pitch and you need to throw with conviction. He admits he lost confidence, so now is the time to get it back.
So looking at everything, it's understandable why the Yankees sent him down. He is only throwing two pitches, his command isn't there and righties are hitting him hard. Severino has the stuff to be a major league pitcher. He has the tools but not the results.
This is in no way a knock on Severino or his talent. He's young and he will have bumps in the road and the Yankees will give him every opportunity to work through them. In this case, that means figuring it out down in the minors which is warranted. A starting rotation spot has to be earned. He kept that spot last year because he was consistent and he proved he could do the job. This year, Severino has not been the same pitcher and he has to understand that if he isn't effective then he is hurting the team. Pitching in the majors is no place to "work on" your issues as he puts it. Training and development happens in the minors. It's the whole purpose of being there. You have to earn your spot and stay consistent to keep your spot.
This may be a little bit of tough love right now, but Severino is more than capable of doing the job. He needs to figure that out again and until then....work on his issues down in the minors. His time will come again, when he earns it.
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
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