Luis Severino made his long-awaited return to the Yankees for Tuesday's opener of the three-game series against the Angels, picking up not far from where he left off.
Back in the big leagues for the first time since his 19-8 season in 2018, Severino threw 67 pitches (47 strikes) and limited Los Angeles to two hits over 4.0 scoreless innings.
Severino issued two walks but recorded two strikeouts, nearly touching 99 mph on his fastball while mixing in a healthy dose of sliders and changeups.
"I feel ready, I feel ready," Severino said. "I think all my pitches were there. The fastball command, I think, was great. I still need to work a little bit more on the slider to left-hander (hitters), but I think to righties, it was good and the change was good, too."
Severino started the 2019 season on the 10-day injured list March 25 with right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation and a Grade 2 lat strain, and the combination of the two ailments moved him to the 60-day injured list April 25.
He finally started his rehab assignment in the minor leagues Sept. 1 with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, adding two more outings at Triple-A Trenton during the Thunder's postseason run.
With the season over in the minors, Severino rejoined the Yankees for the six-game homestand, getting the start and working closer to a role as New York's postseason run approaches in October.
"It was exciting, it was fun" - Luis Severino on his return to the Yankees pic.twitter.com/QlVZw97ijK- Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) September 18, 2019
"Severino overall better than expected," a scout told SNY's Andy Martino. "However he has left some fastballs over the middle that a good offense would have punished him for. Command of slider/change still a work in progress. Not sure if he has time to get there before (October) as this is his spring training."
Severino velocity was fine in first, 96-97. Used all his pitches, has d trouble putting away leadoff man, didn't allow hard contact.- Andy Martino (@martinonyc) September 17, 2019
By the innings, Conor Foley of The Times-Tribune in Scranton said that Severino's fastball velocity hit 96.5 mph (first), 96.7 mph (second), 95.7 mph (third) and 97.8 mph (fourth).
In the fourth, he reached back and dialed up a game-high 98.8 mph, according to Greg Joyce of the New York Post.
Severino started the first with some drama on a leadoff walk to Brian Goodwin, followed by David Fletcher's left-field single before Kole Calhoun's 1-6 fielder's choice provided relief and Albert Pujols' 6-4-3 double play ended the inning.
He rode the momentum into the second, recording a 1-2-3 inning -- including strikeouts of Jared Walsh and Luis Rengifo to end the frame -- after getting Andrelton Simmons on a leadoff ground out back at the mound.
In the third, Severino again issued a leadoff walk on a full-count pitch against Michael Hermosillo, but he rebounded again by retiring his next three batters, starting with Anthony Bemboom's full-count strikeout before Goodwin's left-field flyout and Fletcher's second-base ground out.
Following a leadoff single to right field by Calhoun, Severino mowed down the next three Angels -- Pujols, Simmons (strikeout) and Walsh -- in the fourth inning before the bullpen took over.