Paint The Black

Baseball and Beyond

Yanks Fought the Law and the Law Won

with 7 comments

Luis Severino is 23 yr’s old, he has an exploding although kind of straight 97 MPH fastball, his  slider sometimes has no  depth, his third pitch is a fringe change up..

That would put him in a group of about 200 right-handed pitchers across the minors, and last season once the “book” got out on him, MLB hitters smacked the Dominican Dandelion around like it was extended batting practice..

Despite quaking like a duck in 2016, the Yanks and Brian Cashman aren’t giving up on making him a starting pitcher.. That’s a scary thought, Cashman has already helped turn the bright lights down on Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes who  were both  great out of the pen, not so much as starting pitchers

Severino went 0-8 in 11 starts with an 8.50 ERA, Severino’s fastball averaged 96.1 mph, according to FanGraphs, but opposing batters hit .299/.383/.544 against it. His slider was inconsistent, and he didn’t feature his changeup very often. He also struggled mightily the second inning (16.0 IP, 35 H, 12.38 ERA) and third inning (8.2 IP, 13 H, 13.50 ERA) times through the order.

I remember becoming extremely disgruntled when ESPN’s  senior baseball  writer Keith Law said Severino was more suited for the bull pen, not the starting rotation.. Law looked like a fool when Severino passed his 11 game cameo  with  flying colors..


 Severino made an impressive 2015 debut, he compiled a   5-3 record with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts. He was touted by the media as the Bombers potential new Ace, the puff pieces on him that  winter were over the top..

Man  did that  backfire, and man  was Keith Law Right

iIn-fact I remember watching his 1st 2016 Spring Training start  and he was awful, you chalk it up  to “just  getting his work in”, but as the Spring progressed and the season started, Severino got worse not better

The first  red flag Re: Severino  was the fact he bulked up over the 2015 / 16 winter, looking more like an NFL full back  then a limber MLB starting pitcher..

You like to see athletes stay in shape, but Severino was adding muscle, which is  probably beneficial  if your focus is trying to light up  the radar gun…Unfortunately  good / great starting pitchers in this or any era need to navigate 3 times through a line-up, requiring 100 plus pitches, max effort on every pitch isn’t gonna cut it..

“I look at Severino, and he’s one-dimensional. He’s a maximum effort guy. It doesn’t look like he’s thinking a lot about pitch sequence,” former Yankee and current YES Network analyst John Flaherty said last week.

“He needs to graduate to that next level where you pitch at 75-80 percent and you pay attention to what hitters are trying to do, and when you need that 100 percent (pitch) or that great fastball you have it in the tank and you can use it,” Flaherty continued. “I don’t know if he’s got that, to tell you the truth. From watching him, I think that’s something that’s yet to be determined.”

Actually the first YES analyst to criticize  Severino  was Paul O’Neill, who usually spends most of his on air time trying to  yuk it up  with  buddy Michael Kay and often Al Leiter.. On this occasion O’Neill stopped his constant tomfoolery and mentioned how Severino  was too predictable, none of his pitchers were diving out of the strike zone at the last second, which creates deception, and he gave Tanaka as an  example…

Al Leiter chimes in

“When you start, you can’t throw it 95-100 every pitch,” former Yankee and current YES Network analyst Al Leiter said. “And if you only have a slider and your slider is not (thrown) for a strike, now what are you going to do? Now basically you become a fastball pitcher, and then automatically your fastball goes down (in velocity) because hopefully as a starter you’re going to throw 100-110 pitches per outing, and it’s different.

At the moment Cashman has mentioned giving Severino a long rope in an effort to  develop some young cost controlled starting pitching, but unless Severino has made some changes, Cashman’s is whistling past the graveyard

Please Release Me

Supposedly Severino has lost some of the bulk he piled on his frame  last year, and while I find it hard to believe a Yankee hater like Pedro Martinez would help Severino, apparently that meeting of the minds took place this winter.

Pedro worked with Severino on his mechanics, with a specific focus on his release point.

Hopefully Martinez drilled the importance of changing speeds, a required ability if any pitcher wants to be starting and successful once a line-up has turned over 3 times

In his heyday, Pedro could follow a perfectly spotted 97 mph fastball with a low 80’s changeup that featured both sink and fade, in addition to a mid 70’s curveball.

Severino, per Pitch F/X show his top fastball   speed is 96 / 97, his breaking pitches only subtract to an average of 88, so not only will he have to master his release point, he’ll need to focus on the  pitcher vs batter / cat  and mouse game where deception could be  a starting pitchers best friend

Anyway, Severino won’t be the biggest  story in camp  this year, finding  diamonds in the rough with all  the prospects and non 40 man roster invitees should take center stage..

Severino has proven to be a weapon coming out of the bull pen, so there is a back-up plan in case Keith Law was right and  the kid is more of a Betances / early Joba / even a 2010 Phil Hughes type pitcher..

With Cashman  and Steinbrenner  still  talking / acting like the Bombers are playoff contenders, it’ll be a tough  sell if they  send Severino to AAA in an effort to  continue his starter apprenticeship

A real  contending team  would have Severino  working out of the pen creating a potential monster reliever corp with Chappy, Betances, Severino, Clippard and Warren leading the charge

“Let’s Be honest” the Yanks will be playing for 3rd place in the AL East in 2017, so  spending more time in the minors this season trying to  develop a cost controlled starting pitcher isn’t the worst case scenario

This could be his last chance at fulfilling his starter dream, as a Yankee… They  could always trade him to  the White Sox who have developed Chris Sale a former closer and Jose Quintana a former Yankee Cashman had no  clue could be this good

Or the Pirates who had success with both Nova and AJ Burnett after Cashman’s clown posse couldn’t fix either of those guys

So  don’t fret Sevy, you might be a player every 5 days yet, it just might not be with  the NY Yankees…..



Written by Sal

February 1, 2017 at 8:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. 23 non-roster players include several of the team’s best prospects. Here’s the list:

    Pitchers (11)
    RHP Chance Adams
    LHP Daniel Camarena
    RHP J.P. Feyereisen
    LHP Jason Gurka
    RHP James Kaprielian
    RHP Brady Lail
    LHP Joe Mantiply
    RHP Jordan Montgomery
    RHP Nick Rumbelow
    LHP Evan Rutckyj
    LHP Justus Sheffield

    Catchers (4)
    Wilkin Castillo
    Kellin Deglan
    Francisco Diaz
    Jorge Saez

    Infielders (6)
    Ji-Man Choi
    Pete Kozma
    Donovan Solano
    Ruben Tejada
    Gleyber Torres
    Tyler Wade

    Outfielders (2)
    Dustin Fowler
    Clint Frazier


    February 1, 2017 at 8:30 am

  2. I still can’t believe El Pollo Martinez would help Severino, he’s the consummate NYY hater

    I remember hearing how Roy Buchanan showed Robbie Robertson how to play harmonics on his guitar…

    When we asked Roy if that was true, he said oh yeah I showed him some stuff, but it was all the wrong stuff lol


    February 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

  3. Loved the Roy Buchanan reference, Sal!
    Yeah, this could be the make or break year for Sevy.
    Amazing that El Pollo helped him out in the DR.
    As stipulated in your review, Sevy’s problem is improving his slider & developing that 3rd pitch (change up?) . Without that happening, he has NO chance of becoming a starter……at least with the Yanks.
    Spring Training should tell us some of the tale.


    February 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    • Right around the corner bondsie


      February 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm

  4. this is the shit that scares you about Cashman

    Did former New Yorker Jon Daniels and the Rangers take Cashman to the woodshed on this one ??

    Come on Cash, you can’t be bringing back busts in deadline trades…


    February 2, 2017 at 8:48 am

  5. Sal

    February 3, 2017 at 5:01 am

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