Severino has lat strain, likely to start season on IL

March 26th, 2023

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees right-hander has been diagnosed with a low-grade right lat strain and is likely to begin the season on the injured list, manager Aaron Boone said on Saturday.

Severino sustained the injury while working out following his most recent start on Tuesday against the Tigers, according to Boone, and will not throw for five to seven days.

“I thought this was going to be a year with no injuries,” Severino said. “Hopefully it’s better to happen now than at the middle or the end of the season. Hopefully this is it, and if that means [missing] three or four starts, after that I can be good for the rest of the season. I’d be blessed.”

Boone said that Clarke Schmidt is expected to start the Yankees’ second game of the regular season against the Giants on April 1, with slated for the March 30 opener.

With (strained left forearm) and (recovery from right shoulder surgery) also injured, the rest of New York’s rotation projects to include Nestor Cortes and .

Additionally, the Yankees are beginning the season with relievers Tommy Kahnle (right biceps tendinitis) and Lou Trivino (right elbow ligament sprain) on the injured list.

“It’s tough, but this is what this team is built for,” Aaron Judge said. “We’ve got quite a few guys in the Minor Leagues; they’ll step up and fill those holes. Especially with Clarke Schmidt, the repertoire he’s working with, and Germán, if he stays healthy, he’s another asset to us.

“We’re built for it. You never want to see a guy like Sevy or Rodón or any of our bullpen guys get hurt, but I think we’re pretty deep in the pitching department.”

Boone mentioned as an option if the Yanks needs a fifth starter; it’s also possible that they could carry an extra reliever for a bullpen game. Other choices include , and -- or potentially trading for a starting pitcher.

“We’re still working through that right now,” Boone said. “We’ve gone through a lot of permutations of how we would piece it together, roster-wise, in that first 10 days to two weeks.”

Severino has been hit hard this spring, allowing 15 runs in 15 innings for a 9.00 ERA, though his slider and curveball looked much better on Tuesday against Detroit.

Injuries have been a consistent theme for Severino, who missed two months last season with what was initially described as a low-grade lat strain.

“It’s not the same spot as before,” Severino said. “It’s a little more down. The good thing is, it didn’t become something major.”

He has also endured issues with his groin, shoulder and triceps since 2018. Severino made 19 starts last year -- his most since 2018 -- and went 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA.

“He’s worked his tail off to put himself in a good spot here,” Boone said. “To have it happen a week before the season, I know it’s got to be frustrating for him. But now, let’s move on, get right, get better and get back.”