The Yankees were dealt one of their biggest blows of the offseason Tuesday when general manager Brian Cashman announced that starter Luis Severino has a partially torn UCL that will require Tommy John surgery, ending his 2020 season before it even started.
Severino, 26, figured to be the Yankees’ No. 2 starter in a rotation that looked like one of the best in baseball just last month. The loss of Severino now raises questions for a New York group that will be without James Paxton (back surgery) and Domingo German (domestic violence suspension) for the first two months.
The Dominican right-hander was hoping to return to full strength this spring after making just three starts last season with shoulder and back injuries. He posted back-to-back top-10 AL Cy Young finishes in 2017 and 2018 with a 3.18 ERA and 450 strikeouts over that span.
New York will instead look to newly acquired ace Gerrit Cole to provide stability at the top of its rotation. Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ are the only definitive candidates to fill out the staff behind him, with Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga, Deivi Garcia, Michael King and Luis Cessa among the candidates to compete for the remaining two spots.
The Orioles will face the Yankees to open the season March 26-29. While there’s little doubt Cole would’ve started Opening Day even if Severino was healthy, Baltimore would’ve still likely seen Severino in that series.
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