Sports Spectrum Weekly

Yankees' Luis Severino establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball

The New York Yankees have once again established themselves as the dominant team in baseball this season. On the offensive side, they have six guys with more than 10 home runs, led by Aaron Judge’s 18 and Giancarlo Stanton’s 17. They have young studs like Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, who have burst onto the scene and made a potent Yankee offense even more dangerous.

On the pitching side, they have one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball. Led by Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances and David Robertson, opposing teams know when it gets late in the game, the Yankees are tough to score runs on.

And then there is Luis Severino, maybe the player having the best season in 2018 for New York.

Last year, he established himself as a mainstay in the Yankee rotation, going 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 193 innings pitched, finishing third in the American League Cy Young Award voting.

Severino, 24, is now the clear No. 1 starter for the Yankees and has proven his worth each time he has taken the ball to start a game thus far in 2018. His numbers speak for themselves. In 15 games he’s thrown 99 innings, allowed 23 runs, walked just 25 with 118 strikeouts. His ERA is 2.09, second best in baseball. Even more importantly, the Yankees win when he’s on the mound. Over his last 30 starts dating back to last season, New York is 26-4.

“He’s a workhorse,” MLB Network analyst and Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez said. “He has all the tools to become, if not the best pitcher, probably one of the best. He’s my No. 1 candidate for Cy Young this year.”

Severino came to the Yankees as an amateur free agent in December 2011 and made his professional debut in 2012. After making his way through the minor league system, he made his major league debut in August 2015 against the Boston Red Sox.

After sputtering through a difficult 2016 season, Severino turned his season, and maybe his career, around in 2017, helping the Yankees to the postseason.

Severino is also a follower of Jesus and says growing up in the Dominican Republic has given him a perspective every time he’s on the mound to fight and claw and compete for his family.

“My family, every time I go out on the field, I fight for them, to give them a better life,” he said. “I do it for my mom, so she feels so proud of me.”

In the offseason, Severino was able to go back to his hometown community in the Dominican and give back to those less fortunate.

The Yankees continue their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, and Severino returns to the mound Thursday afternoon.

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