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Severino, Betances resume rehab, talk options

@BryanHoch
July 15, 2019

NEW YORK -- Luis Severino and Dellin Betances have watched from the sidelines as their Yankees teammates compiled the best record in the American League, and as the right-handers work toward re-joining the active roster, both believe they can contribute to the postseason push. Severino and Betances each made 25

NEW YORK -- Luis Severino and Dellin Betances have watched from the sidelines as their Yankees teammates compiled the best record in the American League, and as the right-handers work toward re-joining the active roster, both believe they can contribute to the postseason push.

Severino and Betances each made 25 tosses at 60 feet across the Yankee Stadium outfield on Monday afternoon, both players resuming activity after they were sidelined due to right lat strains.

"I just want to pitch," Severino said. "It doesn't matter where or when; in the bullpen or as a starter. I just want to pitch."

While Severino said that he considers himself a starter, he is mindful of each day that falls off the calendar. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said this past weekend that Severino would need at least six weeks to be ready to start in a big league game; working out of the bullpen could trim that timeline.

"We want to build him up, and hopefully the process goes smoothly and he gets built up that way," manager Aaron Boone said. "That being said, we’ll continue to re-evaluate every couple weeks to see where we’re at and see what makes the most sense."

Severino has made 11 career relief appearances, all of which came in 2016 when he struggled as a starter. He said that no one from the club has approached him about pitching in relief this season.

"Not yet, but it's in my mind," Severino said. "I think if I'm in the bullpen, it could be quicker, but I don't know what they have planned. I want to be a starter, but if they talk to me and they need me quicker as a reliever, I would say yes. I just want to get to that mound and be healthy."

Betances was envisioned as a key piece of the Yankees' bullpen, but he has been unable to make an appearance thus far. Calling it a "long, long year" so far, Betances is attempting to take solace in the fact that the club has played well without him.

"Obviously, the team has been playing exceptionally well," Betances said. "In a way, there's no sense of urgency, no sense to kind of rush. These guys are doing a tremendous job, so it kind of gives me that confidence to do what I have to do, take my time and get ready for the playoffs, division push and hopefully World Series."

Getting 'Freak’-y

Giannis Antetokounmpo -- aka “The Greek Freak” -- paid a visit to Yankee Stadium on Monday, watching batting practice in front of the first-base dugout.

The Milwaukee Bucks superstar and recently crowned 2018-19 NBA Most Valuable Player posed for photographs and chatted with several players, including CC Sabathia, with whom the hurler's ‘08 stint leading the Brewers to the postseason was a topic of conversation.

Comeback trail

Jonathan Loaisiga is moving toward game action. Sidelined since May 10 due to a strain in his pitching shoulder, the right-hander threw a 20-pitch batting practice session over the weekend.

Boone said Loaisiga is "definitely moving in the right direction, and I would expect him to be an option at some point."

Come fly with Mo

Mariano Rivera will join Delta Airlines on Tuesday morning for a ceremonial dedication of Gate 42 at John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 4, which will be renamed "The Mariano Rivera Gate."

This date in Yankees history

July 15, 2008: In its final season of service, the original Yankee Stadium played host to the All-Star Game. The American League defeated the National League, 4-3, in 15 innings. The four-hour, 50-minute contest remains the longest Midsummer Classic of all-time.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.