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Sevy gets his 2018 off to solid start

Right-hander limits Phillies to one unearned run in spring debut
MLB.com @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- Luis Severino emerged as one of the American League's top starters in 2017 in his first full big league season, and the Yankees sense that the right-hander has an appetite to build upon that success in 2018.

Severino fired 3 1/3 innings in his spring debut on Thursday, limiting the Phillies to three hits and an unearned run in the Yanks' 7-6 Grapefruit League loss at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The 24-year-old walked one and struck out three, firing 34 of his 51 pitches for strikes.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Luis Severino emerged as one of the American League's top starters in 2017 in his first full big league season, and the Yankees sense that the right-hander has an appetite to build upon that success in 2018.

Severino fired 3 1/3 innings in his spring debut on Thursday, limiting the Phillies to three hits and an unearned run in the Yanks' 7-6 Grapefruit League loss at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The 24-year-old walked one and struck out three, firing 34 of his 51 pitches for strikes.

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"You sense the hunger that's there," manager Aaron Boone said. "There's no satisfaction with what he's done. Personally, you get that sense being around him. He expects to go out there and be great."

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Severino finished third in the AL Cy Young race last season, behind Corey Kluber of the Indians and Chris Sale of the Red Sox. After going 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA in 31 starts, ringing up 230 strikeouts, Severino wants to prove that he can continue to belong in that company.

Video: PHI@NYY: Severino on his spring debut, expectations

"I want to be on that level, of course," Severino said. "Those guys have been the best for a long time. I think I have to improve more and be more perfect with my pitches, keep working on stuff."

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Severino ran frequently during the offseason, trying to log 20 to 25 minutes on an Olympic-size track, which he believes can help ward off a hangover effect from last year's workload. Severino pitched 193 1/3 innings during the regular season, then 16 more in the playoffs.

"I just want to go out there and be the best version of Luis Severino that I possibly can," Severino said. "Same as last year. I will try to do my best and keep working on my stuff."

Nothin' to it
Giancarlo Stanton flashed a broad grin and acknowledged the crowd after catching a routine Mitch Walding flyout in the fifth inning, the first play that he has made in three games patrolling left field this spring. Stanton struggled with the sun in Sunday's 9-1 loss to the Rays.

"It's getting better," Stanton said. "I mean, you go from never [playing left field] to once and now twice, three times. ... It's the same as getting at-bats. You need the dynamic of runners in scoring position, power hitters hitting it to you, slap hitters hitting it to you, you need all that to experience. That's what camp's for."

Camp battles
Tyler Wade is assembling a solid case to serve as the Opening Day second baseman. Wade stroked a single off Philadelphia starter Ben Lively in the third inning and is now 7-for-22 in 10 spring games.

Wade LeBlanc, who is trying to make the bullpen as a non-roster invitee, allowed three runs and three hits in two innings. Justus Sheffield was re-assigned to Minor League camp after allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

In addition to Sheffield, right-handers Cale Coshow, Raynel Espinal and Dillon Tate; lefty Trevor Lane; and catcher Chace Numata were reassigned.

Injury updates
Clint Frazier (concussion) rode a stationary bicycle for 20 minutes, threw, ran and performed rotational exercises on Thursday as he aims to return to hitting drills. Frazier has had two MRIs and a CT scan since sustaining the concussion on Feb. 24 in Bradenton, Fla.

"It's frustrating, but I'm not trying to mess around with this," Frazier said. "It's a drawn-out process, but I think it's going in the right direction."

Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) could resume running on Saturday, said Boone, who is not ready to rule out Ellsbury from being ready for Opening Day. Boone added that Albert Abreu (appendix) is up to 90 feet in his throwing program and that Thairo Estrada (gunshot wound) has resumed playing catch and running.

Up next
Sonny Gray will make his first start of the spring on Friday as the Yankees visit the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at 6:05 p.m. ET. Julio Teheran will be on the hill for Atlanta. The Yanks' travel roster includes Miguel Andujar, Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres.

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

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