New York Yankees ace Luis Severino, sidelined since spring training, could begin a throwing program next week, but his return appears to be anything but imminent. General manager Brian Cashman said Severino will need "six weeks or more" to work himself up to being ready to come off the injured list and there's a good chance he won't be ready to resume a full-time starting job.
Cashman suggested Severino might be used in a new role for the tail end of the season. "The worst-case scenario is he is an abbreviated starter or a guy who we can blow out of our pen if time constraints are against us," said Cashman in an interview on MLB Network Radio.
"If we don't have enough time to stretch him out fully, we could have an abbreviated version. Would he be a 75-pitch guy? Sixty-five pitches? I don't know." The 25-year-old right-hander has been on the 60-day injured list with a lat strain that occurred during spring training. Manager Aaron Boone said the injury is about 90 percent healed but that Severino won't throw until it is completely recovered.
A two-time All-Star, Severino was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts in 32 start last season. He signed a four-year, $40 million deal in February.
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