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Severino to get one more rehab start

@BryanHoch
September 8, 2019

BOSTON -- Luis Severino has a final hurdle to clear in his recovery from the injuries that have cost him the entire big league season to date, with the Yankees deciding to have the right-hander make another Minor League rehab start for Double-A Trenton. Manager Aaron Boone said Severino has

BOSTON -- Luis Severino has a final hurdle to clear in his recovery from the injuries that have cost him the entire big league season to date, with the Yankees deciding to have the right-hander make another Minor League rehab start for Double-A Trenton.

Manager Aaron Boone said Severino has been scheduled to pitch for the Thunder on Wednesday, which will be Game 2 of their Eastern League Championship Series against Bowie. Boone said the Yankees wanted to see Severino in a controlled environment once more before facing Major League hitters.

“We tried to avoid a situation where we brought him back and there is some kind of fluky long first inning to where you’re in a situation to where you want to pull him,” Boone said. “This way he can build up in that atmosphere and then we’ll go from there. I certainly like where he’s at.”

Severino has made two Minor League rehab starts as he returns from a right lat strain. He threw a 33-pitch inning on Sept. 1 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then fired 50 pitches over three-plus innings for Trenton against Reading on Friday, allowing a run on five hits. Severino walked none and struck out five in that outing.

“The first outing, he was clearly a little rusty and had that first Spring Training outing look,” Boone said. “Watching his whole [second] outing, I thought he shaped a lot of really good pitches. I thought he had good life on the fastball. The command of that pitch for the most part was really good. I thought he shaped some really good sliders and mixed in a lot of changeups.”

Long road back

The Yankees announced four roster moves prior to Sunday’s game, and though Ben Heller’s name was not listed among the transactions, the right-hander had a locker in the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park. He expects to be activated during the upcoming Tigers series, having made it all the way back to the Majors following Tommy John surgery, which he had performed in April 2018.

“The recovery definitely wasn't as smooth as I would have liked or was expecting at first, but I feel like I persevered,” Heller said. “I'm definitely proud of the work I put in to get back here. I feel like I truly did earn my way back to the big leagues.”

Asked what kept him motivated during his rehab, Heller said that he thought frequently about his late brother Gabe, who took his own life as a high school senior in 2015.

“There's really no words that people can say to make you feel better,” Heller said. “Going through it at the time, my family and I had a massive community of friends and family who supported us, but really it's something that only time can heal. Going through that, anything else that I go through in life hopefully will pale in comparison to that.”

The announced roster moves were the reinstatement of infielder Gio Urshela from the 10-day injured list, returning infielder Thairo Estrada from his rehab assignment and reinstating him from the 10-day IL and recalling catcher Kyle Higashioka and infielder Breyvic Valera from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Not done yet

Deivi Garcia was not promoted with the conclusion of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s season, but the Yankees sent the right-hander to the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla., instructing the 20-year-old to continue throwing in case he is needed at the big league level.

“At some point, he could still be a factor,” Boone said.

Garcia is the Yankees’ top prospect and the No. 62 prospect in all of baseball, as rated by MLB Pipeline.

Comeback trail

CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to throw a light side session on Monday at Fenway Park, with the intent of rejoining the active roster and starting Wednesday against the Tigers in Detroit. Sabathia will be followed in that start by Domingo German, who will pitch in relief.

Boone said it is possible the Yankees could use German out of the bullpen during the postseason.

This date in Yankees history

Sept. 8, 1940: Joe Gordon hit for the cycle in a 9-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Gordon reached base in all six plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with two walks. It was the 10th cycle in Yankees history, and Gordon was the seventh Yankees player to accomplish the feat.

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