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Yankees’ Luis Severino shut down for 6 more weeks

New York’s ace has a Grade 2 lat strain that may put him out for most of the first half.

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees ace Luis Severino will not be throwing for six weeks after suffering a Grade 2 lat strain, the Yankees announced to reporters.

Severino’s lat strain is a new injury. Severino has been on the injured list since March due to shoulder inflammation and has been on track to return in May. However, this new injury appears to have occurred during his rehabilitation process and may put him out for most of the first half of the season.

The 24-year-old Severino is one of the big players on the Yankees’ injury list, which has 11 players on it. The Yankees have the most players on the IL in the majors.

Severino was expected to be a big part of the Yankees’ rotation after signing a four-year, $40 million extension in February. He has been an All-Star in each of the past two seasons, and though he’s been somewhat inconsistent over his four years in the big leagues, he’s still one of the top young pitchers in the sport. Severino finished with an ERA under 3.00 in both 2015 and 2017, and went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 2018. He was solid in the Yankees’ wild card win over the Athletics, allowing just two hits over four scoreless innings, but he in his lone ALDS start against the rival Red Sox, giving up six runs on seven hits and two walks over three innings.

Since Severino and C.C. Sabathia have been out, the Yankees have been relying on James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ as their frontline starters. Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga have been holding down the back of the rotation to this point in the young season. However, the Yankees also picked up Gio Gonzalez on a minor league contract late in spring training, so he may become a factor if Severino is still not back.