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Boone: Severino expected to make OD start

Yanks righty dominant in first half last year, including opener in Toronto
MLB.com @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- Luis Severino's electric fastball and slider combination placed the right-hander among the game's most dominant starters in the first half of last season, and there is no one that the Yankees would rather see take the mound on Opening Day.

Severino is expected to get the nod for New York's March 28 season opener against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, manager Aaron Boone said on Wednesday.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Luis Severino's electric fastball and slider combination placed the right-hander among the game's most dominant starters in the first half of last season, and there is no one that the Yankees would rather see take the mound on Opening Day.

Severino is expected to get the nod for New York's March 28 season opener against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, manager Aaron Boone said on Wednesday.

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"I would say there's a very good chance of that," Boone said. "I haven't settled on that yet or had those conversations yet, but my expectation is that he would be that guy."

It would be the second consecutive Opening Day start for Severino, who held the Blue Jays to one hit over 5 2/3 scoreless innings last March 29 in Toronto.

• History of Yankees Opening Day starters

Severino, who turns 25 on Feb. 20, was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts in 32 starts spanning 191 1/3 innings last season, though he had an up-and-down second half and postseason. He led the Majors in wins prior to the All-Star break, going 14-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 20 starts.

Despite going 5-6 with a 5.69 ERA in his final 13 regular-season starts, the Yankees were 24-8 when Severino took the mound.

Video: Luis Severino is the No. 8 starting pitcher right now

"Hopefully there's some things that he tightens up even more that allows him to continue to progress and really continue to establish himself as one of the aces in this league, which we believe that he is," Boone said.

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Severino has said that he altered his workout program and diet, which he hopes will allow him to maintain his strength late into the year.

"I feel like he was certainly healthy and probably dealt with some fatigue issues of being a young pitcher in this league, for the second consecutive year getting around that 200-inning standpoint," Boone said. "I think we saw the normal progression of a young star pitcher. Even though he had some struggles in the second half, I think he had some flashes where he pitched really well for us. He righted the ship a little bit."

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

New York Yankees, Luis Severino