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Luis Severino’s return after 707 days a ‘proud moment’ for Yankees


For the first time in 707 days, Luis Severino returned to a major league mound Tuesday night in The Bronx.

The right-hander took a different path than the last time he was there — jogging in from the bullpen to pitch the eighth inning — but his long road back from Tommy John surgery was finally complete as he threw two scoreless innings to close out the Yankees’ 7-1 win over the Rangers in The Bronx.

Taking the mound to an ovation and chants of “Sevy,” Severino struck out two and gave up two hits on 30 pitches.

“It was a lot [of emotions],” Severino said. “The fans yelling my name, that was special for me. Just getting on the mound again in a real game, that was fun.”

Severino’s fastball averaged 94 mph and topped out at 95.3 mph, while his two strikeouts came on a changeup and a slider. After the game in the clubhouse, he was awarded the Yankees’ player of the game belt and shared a celebration with his teammates.

Luis Severino
Luis Severino
Corey Sipkin
Luis Severino
Luis Severino
Corey Sipkin
Luis Severino (right) celebrates after returning to the mound Tuesday.
Corey Sipkin

“Proud moment for him and for his teammates and for all of us that have seen him go through a lot,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I thought he handled himself really well.”

Severino underwent Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27, 2020, had his comeback delayed by a groin strain in June and then shoulder tightness in August. The latter meant he would not have enough time to build back up as a starter this season, but now the Yankees hope he can be a weapon out of the bullpen to help them chase down an AL wild-card spot with less than two weeks left.

“I don’t want to put too many expectations on him, but I’m not going to limit what he’s capable of here down the stretch and what kind of role he can serve in,” Boone said.

In a return he said he had visualized “like 100 times,” the high-socked Severino made a relief appearance for the first time since 2016. When he began warming up in the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees led 4-1 but he took the mound with a 7-1 lead thanks to Aaron Judge’s three-run blast.

Some light rain hardly dampened the mood.

“It doesn’t matter if it was freaking thunder, I was going to go back there and try to pitch,” Severino said.

Boone said it would be a “fluid situation” in terms of how many days Severino will need between relief appearances. But for the first time in two years, he is once again healthy and available.

“He’s a big piece of this team and this organization,” Judge said. “We’re going to need him down this stretch, I know that.”


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