TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hold your breath, Yankees fans.
Righty flamethrower Luis Severino is reportedly on the shelf for the next two weeks after he was scratched from his first scheduled spring training start on Tuesday due to right shoulder discomfort.
Severino was slated to face the Atlanta Braves, but now his status for Opening Day is up in the air. He was replaced by Stephan Tarpley and another Yankees starter, J.A. Happ, entered in the third inning.
“When he was getting warmed up for the game, he just threw a pitch and felt something around the lat or back of the shoulder and just didn’t feel right, so walked off,” manager Aaron Boone said during the telecast on the Yankees’ YES Network.
An MRI revealed Severino was suffering from rotator cuff inflammation. MLB.com’s Brian Hoch reported the Bombers ace will be shut down for two weeks and receive anti-inflammatories before resuming his throwing program.
“Any time a guy is scheduled to make a start and has to walk off the mound, that’s always concerning,” Boone said.
The skipper called it “highly unlikely” that Severino would be available for Opening Day, but added it was too early to say who will start versus the Baltimore Orioles on March 28th.
Severino avoided an arbitration hearing with the Yankees and agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a team option and could be worth $52.25 million for five seasons.
Severino has a 41-25 career record with a 3.51 ERA.
The 25-year old right-hander is a two-time All-Star. He went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA last year, winning 14 of his first 16 decisions but then five of his last 11. He came out early in both of his postseason starts, going 0-1 in seven innings.
Jon Heyman reported the Yankees had discussions about possibly signing former Athletics and Nationals star Gio Gonzalez even before Severino’s shoulder issue emerged.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks, who agreed to a $70 million, seven-year contract, was out of the lineup for the second straight day due to a back injury. Acquired from Minnesota in November 2015, Hicks has been on the disabled list in all six of his big league seasons, nine trips in all for hamstring strains (three times), oblique strains (twice), shoulder, forearm and intercostal strains, and a concussion.
A 29-year-old switch-hitter, Hicks took over as the Yankees primary center fielder last year and set career highs with 137 games, 27 homers and 79 RBIs.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)