As I am sure all fans of the New York Yankees would like to avoid this, but how much different of a team they would be without their ace, Luis Severino? It was announced this week that Severino would be sidelined for a few weeks in the 2019 regular season with rotator cuff inflammation. Meaning they will be going with Masahiro Tanaka as their Opening Day starter for the time being. While there is reason to believe that this will not be that serious of an issue; they still must play a whole month of baseball without their ace.
On one hand, a starting pitcher only pitches once every five days and over the span of a month that would mean they would pitch five or maybe six times out of roughly 28 games. However, the Yankees are bumping up all their starting pitchers up a spot. This means their would be number two start is likely facing other team’s number one starters and so on and so forth. While baseball is a crazy sport where anything can happen, the odds are in the favor of the team with the better starting pitcher on the mound since that is where the game starts.
Also, Severino is no ordinary number one starter. He has been an All-Star each of the last two season and has maintained a WHIP below 1.15 and a K/9 of over 10.0. He is one of the best pitchers in the American League and a lot of teams will probably tell you that they do not mind not having to face him. The likes of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ certainly have their moments and are capable of throwing gems from time to time, but if you are building a team you definitely want to have a dominant force at that top of the rotation.
So, there will certainly be an effect on this team if Severino happened to be out for a long period of time. However, they are more than capable of making it work during his absence. They still have a lethal pitching staff and one of the best offenses in baseball. Sometimes they are going to have to win a game 1-0 or 2-1, but that is why the bullpen is so important.
Also, worst comes to worst the Yankees always have a trick up their sleeves. They are not afraid to go out and make a trade for someone who would fit right into that rotation as possibly the ace. Luckily for the Yankees this might not be as big of an issue as they fear and they only have to wait as long as early May to see Severino on the hill again.