TAMPA, Fla. -- Luis Severino has been among the Yankees’ stars who have continued to work out regularly at George M. Steinbrenner Field during baseball’s coronavirus shutdown, and the right-hander says that he is progressing well in his rehabilitation following Tommy John surgery performed in February.
“Of course it’s frustrating, but this year has been a frustrating year for everybody. So right now, I’m just focused on trying to be healthy for next year,” Severino told the New York Post via email. “With everything that’s been going on, there hasn’t been any baseball. But right now, there are more things to worry about than playing baseball, you know, like the health of everyone and staying safe. I’m just focused on the day to day.”
Severino opted for the procedure in late February after he was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, an injury that the Yankees believe stems from his start in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros last season. The expected recovery time frame from Tommy John surgery is generally 12 to 18 months, meaning Severino could miss part of the 2021 season as well.
“I’ve been down in Tampa since the day after I had my surgery,” Severino said. “I do arm bike, dumbbell exercises, and I just follow the routine that [trainers] Timmy [Lentych] and Alfonso [Malaguti] plan out for me. I spend an hour and half with them in the trainer’s room before I move into the gym, every day, five days a week.
“Things have been progressing well. I’ve been making steady progress -- lifting, doing exercises. Since three months ago -- I think when I first had my surgery -- I feel way better. I’m doing everything I need to do right now so that I can start throwing this summer.’’
As rehabbing players, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were also permitted to continue using Steinbrenner Field during Florida’s stay-at-home order, which was lifted in late April. Since then, Miguel Andújar, Mike Ford, J.A. Happ, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade have been among those spotted at the facility.
The 26-year-old Severino signed a four-year, $40 million extension prior to last season, but shoulder and lat issues limited him to 20 1/3 innings -- 12 in the regular season and 8 1/3 in the postseason. Severino said that he is looking forward to working alongside right-hander Gerrit Cole, who inked a nine-year, $324 million pact with the Yanks this past offseason and is waiting to make his pinstriped debut.
“For me, even though it wasn’t for a long time, we were together for a couple of days in Spring Training and I already started learning from him,” Severino said. “He’s a great pitcher. He’s got a lot of stuff in his mind that I can learn from. I’ll be excited when I come back. I’ll be excited to be in New York next to all the guys on our staff that have been successful for a lot of years. I know it’s going to be a lot of fun when I come back.’’
Severino expressed gratitude that his family in the Dominican Republic has not been touched by the pandemic, and he said that he is focused on getting back to the mound in the best shape possible.
“Of course, it’s disappointing, but I want to look long term,” Severino said. “I want to be healthy for a long time. So I want to use this year -- and last year -- to get better, listen to my body. Of course, I was mad at that time [of the injuries], but right now I just want to worry about getting healthy again and having a long career.”