photo credit:Charles Wendelberg
As difficult as it is to imagine, Luis Severino is actually even better than he was last season. After Severino finished last season third in Cy Young voting, there’s usually not much more a player can do to improve upon that. Severino clearly has found some areas that he can get better, as evinced by his excellent start in 2018.
After finishing 2017 with an ERA of 2.98, Severino has chopped that this season to 2.61. Four of his six starts this season have been quality starts. It would have been five if Severino had thrown another 1/3 of an inning in one of those.
Not Giving up the Big Hit
Another area where Severino has improved this season is with the long ball. So far in 38 innings pitched, Sevy has only been taken deep twice. Last year he gave up 21 home runs, which was nearly double the rate of this season so far. Severino’s home run rate against so far in 2018 is tied for ninth, compared to 16th last year. Not a massive jump, but still an improvement nonetheless.
Earlier in the season against the Tampa Bay Rays, Severino had a poor first inning. Severino only gave up one run and had two strikeouts, but Rays hitters hit two hard line drives. From the second inning on, Severino’s slider looked sharper, and began getting swings and misses again. When asked about it after the game, Severino admitted his slider wasn’t sharp in the first, but that he worked on it in between innings. It’s fairly impressive when a player can get themselves back on track from only the few warmup pitches given between innings. Definitely an indication of his eliteness.
As this hitter from Boston can now attest, Severino can really dial up the fastball.
Yankees fans, can Luis Severino strike out hitters with a 100 MPH fastball?
Yes he can!!!!!! 😎 pic.twitter.com/4HBUvdQThH
— Matt Castrovinci (@yankeesfan8989) April 27, 2018
According to Statcast, Severino’s average four seam fastball is 97.6 MPH. That’s good for fifth in the majors. However, the only four ahead of him on the list are relievers. To sit at 97+ for an inning is one thing. It’s much more impressive to do that through six innings or more.
Exciting to Watch
Severino’s starts are certainly becoming must-watch television. He’s giving the Yankees a chance to win every five days, and he’s doing it in dominant fashion. There really isn’t an opposing pitcher in the league that Severino can’t match up against. The gap between the Justin Verlander’s, Corey Kluber’s and Chris Sale’s has been closed in on by Severino.