Severino's sizzling return shakes up Yankees' postseason picture

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Luis Severino finally made his season debut for the New York Yankees, pitched four shutout innings, topped out at 99 mph, threw 47 of 67 pitches for strikes and even talked Aaron Boone into letting him pitch an extra inning.

As the Yankees start to focus on their postseason pitching plans, Severino's outing couldn't have gone much better, considering his limited rehab work in the minors as he returned from shoulder and lat injuries. Suddenly, a playoff rotation with some serious concerns looks a little stronger and definitely deeper.

Yes, this was a bad Angels lineup missing Mike Trout, but Severino flashed his filthy stuff, including a wipeout slider to go with his high-octane four-seamer. His swing-and-miss rate of 26.5% was right on par with the 26.8% he averaged last jerseys cheap authentic

"My fastball command, I think, was great," Severino said. "I still need to work a little bit more in sliders to left-handers."

Obviously, it's one game, and we'll have to see how he bounces back in his next appearance, but it's a huge positive for the Yankees.

"Looked pretty good out there, pretty sharp," catcher Austin Romine said. "We need Sevy where we're going. He's pitched some big games for us, and we look forward to him pitching some more big games for us."3

Boone will spend these final two weeks figuring out how he'll work his rotation for those big games. James Paxton has won nine consecutive starts, posting a 2.50 ERA and .170 opponents' average in that stretch, and is looking more and more like the Game 1 starter. After that? Who knows. Masahiro Tanaka has been inconsistent all season; he has allowed two runs or fewer in 16 of his 30 starts but still has a 4.60 ERA. He has allowed 16 hits and eight runs in nine innings in his past two starts. Domingo German has 18 wins, but his last outing was a four-inning relief appearance as Boone perhaps prepares him for a bullpen role in October.

Indeed, what we might see is Paxton and perhaps Tanaka used in more traditional roles, and then Boone perhaps will use tandem starters in the other two slots, some combination of Severino, CC Sabathia, German and perhaps J.A. Happ (two righties and two lefties, which could be beneficial). Or maybe Severino can work his way up to 90-100 pitches and be ready to go five or six innings. After that, Boone will lean heavily on his bullpen, though the ranks there thinned out, as Dellin Betances, who just made his season debut on Sunday, is done for 2019 after the Yankees announced that he suffered a partially torn Achilles tendon in that nike nfl jerseys cheap

If Severino looks this good in his remaining work, I slot him behind Paxton and go with a rotation of Paxton, Severino, Tanaka and Sabathia/German tandem -- with lots of innings from the league's best bullpen.

Severino's return from injury so late in the season to a potential prominent role in the postseason wouldn't be unprecedented. In 2015, Marcus Stroman made just four late-season starts for the Blue Jays after tearing his ACL and then started three times in the playoffs. In 2012, Chris Carpenter didn't return for the Cardinals until Sept. 21. He made three starts and then three in the postseason (the final three of his career, as it turned out). The Yankees will hope Severino makes more than three starts -- more like four or five, a number that will indicate the team has made the World Series and Severino is throwing well.

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