Yankees pitcher Luis Severino worked on his mechanics this offseason with Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez in the Dominic Republic, reports Mike Mazzeo of the NY Daily News.
After coming off a promising stint in 2015, the 22-year-old Severino struggled last season. He was 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA over 22 appearances split between the rotation and bullpen.
Severino sought out Pedro's assistance after a mutual friend put the two in touch.
"Pedro is a really nice guy and was really available to work with me," Severino said. "It was very cool, very nice of him."
The two reportedly met on five different occasions throughout the offseason, with Pedro watching Severino throw and providing tips from his observations.
Despite achieving more success as a reliever last season, Brian Cashman and the Yankees still envision Severino as a starter. Cashman has said that if Severino does not win a spot in the rotation during Spring Training, he will be sent to Triple-A to remain a starter.
As much as it may pain a Yankee fan to admit, getting pitching advice from Pedro Martinez is not a bad thing for a promising pitcher.
The fact that Severino is determined to put 2016 behind him by changing his body shape and putting in the extra effort is great to see. I also believe the fact that he is willing to fix mechanical flaws seen by his pitching coach and a Hall of Fame pitcher tells a lot about his desire to do what it takes to improve his game.
In my opinion, Severino should have the inside track to the fourth starter role heading into spring training. He possesses too much talent, and apparently the necessary drive to better himself, to not make the most of an opportunity to solidify his spot in the Yankees' rotation for years to come.