Severino One Step Closer

SCRANTON, PA - The number one pitching prospect in the Yankees system is one step closer to the big leagues. Luis Severino made his Triple-A debut on Sunday. He scattered five hit in 4.1 innings, struck out three batters, and left the game with the lead but the bullpen ended up picking up the loss.

His first batter was Henry Urrutia and Severino pumped three fastballs by him for a strikeout. From that point on it was an up and down outing. His slider was up in the zone and it didn’t do much good for him. Two of his five hits allowed were off sliders and he never seemed to have control of it. Severino is known as a fastball/changeup pitcher but he didn’t throw many changeups on Sunday. Of the handful he did throw, however, he made the Norfolk hitters look silly.

Severino’s fastball was consistently 94-96 and he got all three strikeouts with his fastball, but also gave up three hits with the fastball. When he came out to start the fourth he was at 80 pitches and the speed of his fastball dropped to 91. He had his fastball at times and other times he didn’t.

“[I didn't have] command of my fastball today,” he said after the game.

It was just his first Triple-A start and while the fastball command was a bit lackluster it was hard not to be impressed with him overall. In fact, it didn't take long for Severino's battery mate to sit up and take notice.

“It was the best fastball I caught all year,” Scranton catcher Austin Romine said. “It was a good first start. He has a lot to build off of."

Romine acknowledged that Severino didn’t have his best offspeed pitches on Sunday and it didn't help, but also quickly acknowledged it's tough to give Severino a full grade just based on his Triple-A debut.

“He was probably amped up which is why they were up in the zone," Romine said, "but it’s his first here. We can now work on getting the ball down between starts. He has electric stuff.”

Severino downplayed his Triple-A debut somewhat, however, noting that he didn't feel any different out there on the mound.

“No, it is the same baseball,” Severino said.

For Severino, every start is going to be under a microscope but it’s important to remember he’s only 21 and currently the youngest pitcher in Triple-A.

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