New York Yankees SP Luis Severino looking to Jacob deGrom for optimism

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15: Luis Severino #40 of the New York Yankees reacts after pitching in the first inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 15, 2019 in New York City.

Jacob deGrom overcame Tommy John surgery to become the best pitcher in baseball. New York Yankees starter Luis Severino believes he can too. 

According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, the first thing New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino did once he knew he needed Tommy John surgery was Google pitchers who have had it. The first name that came up was New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. Severino also brought up Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg and deGrom are among the best starting pitchers in the game. That gives Severino hope.

“That gave me more confidence,” Severino told Kernan. “These guys did it, I can do it, too. DeGrom has had a great career and Strasburg just won the MVP of the World Series.’’

There are issues with Severino’s thought process. DeGrom was still in the minor leagues and had ample time to recover and the surgery is part of the reason why he didn’t debut until he was 26-years-old. Strasburg was a rookie and only 21-years-old. He too had time to recover.

They infamously shut Strasburg down during a playoff chase in 2012. Even when the limitations were gone, Strasburg has remained injury prone. He’s only topped 180 innings in three seasons his whole career.

These are very different circumstances then Severino is under. Severino, 26, is older than deGrom and Strasburgm but he’s still optimistic about his return date.

“The recovery is 12-14 months,” Severino said. “I think in 12 months I’ll be ready to pitch, but they always do like a month and a half extra as a precaution to be ready. I’ll be good to come back.’’

If Severino returned in just 12 months, that would be the fast track to a return. The best example of a pitcher on Severino’s level and age having TJ is Zack Wheeler. Wheeler had TJ at 25-years-old in 2015, and he missed all of 2015, 2016, and half of 2017. In 2018 he was back to his old self. Still, that’s two and a half seasons of missed time.

That’s longer than the average, but it shows what Severino is going up against. This isn’t a simple recovery where he’ll definitely be back and ready to go by Opening Day in 2021. The Yankees will likely proceed with caution with one of their best arms.

Without Severino, the Yankees are still World Series favorites, but it will be much tougher without their No. 2 arm in the rotation.

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