Cashman told reporters at the Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa, Florida, that it was unlikely Severino would be ready to pitch in a game before May 1 because of the rotator cuff inflammation that flared up in Severino’s throwing shoulder just before a start two weeks ago. Originally, the Yankees had hoped he might be able to come back to the rotation by mid-April after being shut completely down for two weeks and beginning a series of anti-inflammatories and receiving a cortisone injection.
Severino is currently just beyond the halfway point of that two-week shutdown period. He told reporters Friday his expectation is to resume a throwing program sometime next week.
The rotator cuff became inflamed minutes before a March 5 start at George M. Steinbrenner Field against the visiting Atlanta Braves. After throwing a series of fastballs during his warm-up, the right-handed starter attempted to throw a slider. When he did, he felt what he described as a “pull” in his shoulder, and immediately sought medical attention.
Cashman also said Friday he expected veteran CC Sabathia to return to the rotation sometime in mid-to-late April, as he finishes his rehab from offseason knee surgery and an unexpected heart procedure.
Until Severino and Sabathia return, the Yankees likely will turn to the likes of young pitchers Domingo German, Luis Cessa and Jonathan Loaisiga to help fill the voids left by the veterans. Cessa has been particularly impressive this spring, boasting a 0.69 ERA in four starts. In 13.0 innings, the 26-year-old has 13 strikeouts and allowed seven hits and just one run.
Cashman also expressed pessimism that injured center fielder Aaron Hicks would be ready to make an Opening Day start. Hicks has spent much of spring training fighting through a lower-back injury. He said earlier this week he expected to be healthy by March 28. Cashman’s concern is that while Hicks ought to be healthy by then, he isn’t sure if the outfielder will have enough spring-training at-bats to impact the club by that point.