Luis Severino dealing with lat strain and won’t make scheduled first start of season for Yankees

Tribune Content Agency

TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees’ rotation has suffered another blow, as Luis Severino is dealing with a low-grade lat strain on his right side.

“It’s gonna put him in jeopardy to start the year,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Saturday morning. Boone added that it’s “probably an IL” situation for the right-hander, but Boone’s understanding is that this is not a long-term issue. The skipper called the injury “subtle.”

NJ Advance Media’ Max Goodman first reported Severino suffered an injury.

Severino felt tightness in his lat following his last start while he was performing his postgame arm care routine. That tightness has remained in the days since. Boone wasn’t sure how long Severino would be sidelined from throwing, but he’s not going to make what would have been his first start of the season, the Bombers’ second game.

Severino was supposed to make his final start of spring training on Sunday.

“He was bummed out a little bit yesterday,” Boone said. “He’s worked his tail off to put himself in a good spot here, and to have it happen a week before the season has got to be frustrating for him.”

Boone said Clarke Schmidt will likely start the Yankees’ second game of the year. Jhony Brito, among others, is a candidate to slot into the rotation if the team needs a fifth starter early on. The Yankees are still weighing their options.

Boone dismissed the notion that the Yankees don’t have enough starting pitching depth, but the team is already without Carlos Rodon and Frankie Montas for various amounts of time. And while the team believes that Severino’s injury is not serious, he did miss two months with a lat strain last season — although the Yankees kept him on the sidelines longer than he preferred.

While Severino has flashed Cy Young potential, injuries, including Tommy John surgery, have hampered the 29-year-old throughout his career. He made 19 starts while recording a 3.18 ERA last year, a comeback campaign after he pitched in just seven games from 2019-2021.

Severino is a free agent after this season.

“That sucks for him,” Boone said, “because I know where he’s at, how he’s looked this spring, how the ball’s coming out, the kind of condition he’s in.”

In unrelated news, Boone also said that no decision has been made on Anthony Volpe’s roster status as of Saturday morning.