Luis Severino returned in time to make an impact on the Yankees down the stretch of the 2019 season and into the playoffs, but the two-time All-Star from 2017-18 is looking for more with a clean slate for 2020.
After missing the first five and a half months of last year, starting on the 10-day injured list March 25 with right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation and a Grade 2 lat strain, the combination of the two ailments moved him to the 60-day injured list April 25.
But Severino came back to make three regular-season starts Sept. 17, 22 and 28, going 1-1 with a 1.50 earned-run average and 17 strikeouts to six walks in 12.0 innings pitched. As he hits the reset button, Severino has one goal on his mind.
"For me, the main thing for me is be healthy," Severino said Wednesday. "It's a long season, so we have to take care of a lot of things. But this year, my goal is to be healthy, help my team and just know, as a team, it's get to the World Series and win it."
Severino, who turns 26 next Thursday, will be relied on once again atop the Yankees' starting rotation. The Yankees, however, appear to be in a much more opportunistic position with ace Gerrit Cole leading the charge. If healthy, Severino -- complemented by James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka -- makes for one of Major League Baseball's most dynamic 1-2 punches.
"Last year, it was a good group," Severino said. "And this year, it's a really good group."
Since earning his August 2015 call-up to the major-league level, Severino is 42-26 with a 3.46 ERA and 589 strikeouts against 150 walks through 99 games (88 starts) over 530 innings. He made two postseason starts, one each in the ALDS and ALCS, going 0-1 with 10 strikeouts to five walks over 8.1 frames. Regardless of results, that experience was crucial for Severino entering Tampa, Florida, for Spring Training at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
"The good thing is that, last year, I came (back) and threw a couple games before the postseason," said Severino, whose first bullpen is Thursday. "So I threw in the postseason, too. This year, I feel ready to start pitching in the beginning of the season."