After throwing just 20 1/3 innings between the regular season and the playoffs last year, Luis Severino’s 2020 campaign is over before it even had a chance to start.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman brought the bad news on Tuesday afternoon that Tommy John surgery has been recommended for Severino. He’s expected to have the procedure on Thursday, which likely leaves him in rehab mode until the early part of 2021.
Severino dealt with shoulder and lat issues last season before coming down with some forearm discomfort during the ALCS. HIs symptoms continued over the winter, though initial MRIs didn’t show any structural damage. It was only after his most recent bout of discomfort led to a dye contrast MRI which revealed the damage to his ulnar collateral ligament.
The Yankees won 103 games in 2019 despite a host of injuries, but their rotation is already being tested in a big way. Having free agent addition Gerrit Cole lead the group certainly helps, but James Paxton is expected to be sidelined for a couple of months after undergoing surgery earlier this month to remove a cyst from his spine. Domingo German still has to serve 63 games of his 81-game suspension for domestic violence.
More than anything else, what this means is opportunity in the back-end of the Yankees' rotation. Jordan Montgomery, fresh off his own lengthy rehab from Tommy John surgery, is already busy stating his case for one of the spots. The southpaw struck out three batters over two scoreless innings against the Pirates on Monday. It’s easy to forget that he put up a 3.88 ERA over 29 starts as a rookie in 2017, so he’s quickly putting himself back on the fantasy map. Barring an outside addition, the final spot will likely come from a group including Jonathan Loaisiga, prospects Deivi Garcia, Michael King and Clarke Schmidt, and non-roster invitees Nick Tropeano and Chad Bettis.
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Freeman, Davis Banged Up
While not nearly on the same level of Severino, a pair of NL East rivals have some injury concerns of their own.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is expected to rest for a few days after he came down with inflammation in his right elbow. The All-Star first baseman required arthroscopic surgery on the elbow back in October which involved the removal of two bone spurs and three bone fragments. While he said in late-January that he was pain-free for the first time in nine years, he ran into a little bit of discomfort while ramping up baseball activities.
Experiencing some discomfort isn’t completely unexpected after this sort of surgery, so the good news is that it happened now as opposed to just prior or during the season. Assuming the rest does Freeman good, he still has plenty of time to get ready for Opening Day.
Staying on the topic of the Mets, J.D. Davis was forced to exit Tuesday’s Grapefruit League matchup against the Tigers after he jammed his shoulder while diving for a grounder at third base.
Davis was on the ground for a few minutes before leaving the game. He was told by the Tigers’ team doctor that he didn’t have labrum or rotator cuff damage, but more will be known on his status after he goes for an MRI on Wednesday.
Acquired from the Astros last offseason, the 26-year-old Davis proved to be a great find for New York in 2019, mashing 22 homers with a quality .307/.369/.527 batting line over 453 plate appearances. According to Baseball Savant, he was in the top-10 percent among all hitters in both average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage.
With Jeff McNeil expected to serve as the primary third baseman this season, Davis is being looked at to play a major role in left field. Not only could this injury throw a wrench into things, but Yoenis Cespedes is showing some signs of life as he attempts to make it back after a pair of injury-plagued seasons.
Dylan Going Electric?
The Angels made a big move to upgrade their lineup this offseason with the addition of All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon, but they likely are only going to go as far as their rotation takes them. That has been a problem in recent years, but right-hander Dylan Bundy hopes to change that under new manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Mickey Callaway.
Acquired from the Orioles during the offseason, Bundy made a favorable first impression with his new team on Tuesday by striking out four batters over two hitless frames against the Reds. He walked one batter while throwing 40 pitches.
According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, Bundy made it a point to mix up his arsenal. Just 20 out of his 40 pitches were fastballs. This basically lines up with his pitch mix from last year. It makes sense, as he saw the bulk of his swinging strikes with his changeup and slider.
Bundy, 27, has posted a 4.83 ERA in 89 starts since the start of the 2017 campaign. The main issue for him has been the home run ball, including a league-high 41 bombs against him in 2018. Getting out of Camden Yards can only help him from a fantasy perspective, which makes him a name to watch in deeper formats.
By the way, the aforementioned Rendon went 2-for-2 in his Angels’ debut in the same game. Ho hum.
Quick Hits: Juan Soto went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI in a win over the Cardinals on Tuesday … Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday that Aaron Judge (shoulder) could get into Grapefruit League games next week … Lucas Giolito (chest) threw sliders and curveballs in a bullpen session on Tuesday … Tommy Pham (elbow, side) could make his Cactus League debut as the designated hitter on Wednesday … Franmil Reyes drove in a couple of runs and collected a pair of doubles Tuesday against the White Sox … Breakout candidate Jesus Luzardo fanned a pair over two scoreless innings Tuesday against the Padres … Joe Musgrove spun a pair of hitless innings against the Phillies’ split-squad lineup on Tuesday … Lance McCullers (elbow) is expected to see his first game action in a few days … Max Kepler is currently sidelined due to a minor injury to his upper back … Paul DeJong rocked a grand slam Tuesday versus the Nationals … Ian Happ knocked a bases-clearing double Tuesday against the Rockies … Coming off a strong rookie showing, Brandon Lowe doubled and tripled while driving in three runs in a blowout win over the Orioles on Tuesday … Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 and swatted a three-run homer in Tuesday’s victory over the Mets … Michael Wacha spun a pair of scoreless innings Tuesday against the Tigers as he competes with Steven Matz for the fifth spot in the Mets’ rotation … Jon Lester was knocked around for five runs — three earned — in one-plus inning of work in his start against the Rockies on Tuesday … Top Blue Jays prospect right-hander Nate Pearson struck out all three batters he faced Tuesday against the Yankees in his Grapefruit League debut … Kevin Gausman tossed two scoreless frames Tuesday versus the White Sox in his Cactus League debut … Adam Haseley was put in the concussion protocol after banging his head on the ground while trying to make a diving catch on Tuesday … Julio Teheran was scratched from his Cactus League start on Wednesday due to left hamstring tightness … Rowdy Tellez mashed a three-run homer and knocked in another run with a double in a win over the Phillies’ split-squad on Tuesday, though he’s no sure thing to make the Opening Day roster … Angels prospect outfielder Brandon Marsh is extended to miss an extended period after suffering a left (non-throwing) elbow strain while trying to make a diving catch on Sunday … Minor league outfielder Chas McCormick drove in all four of the Astros’ runs Tuesday against the Marlins with a grand slam … Acquired as part of the Mookie Betts/David Price trade with the Dodgers, prospect catcher Connor Wong slugged a grand slam as the Red Sox topped the Orioles’ split-squad club on Tuesday.