Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Severino Struggles in Yanks' Opener

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Severino Struggles in Yanks' Opener

Article excerpt

TAMPA, Fla. - Luis Severino followed up his perfect first inning with an imperfect second, though no one was judging the right- hander too closely at Steinbrenner Field.

"Chalk it up to the first outing of spring training," manager Joe Girardi said after the Yankees' comeback, 10-9 victory against the Tigers in Wednesday afternoon's Grapefruit League opener. "You still see the power arm, the good stuff.

"He was just a little off, which you'll see a lot [with pitchers] this spring."

Following his successful 11-start Yankees debut late last summer, Severino, 22, figures to have a rotation spot secured, although he's not counting on anything.

"I have to worry about it, a little," Severino said of his uneven performance. "I have to work on [keeping the ball] down."

After a 1-2-3 first inning consisting of two ground ball outs and a strikeout of Justin Upton - who swung through a 95 mph fastball - Severino couldn't make it out of the second.

Charged with five runs, Severino hit a batter, yielded two walks and two hits, including a grand slam by No. 9 batter Bryan Holaday.

But that didn't seem to damage the relaxed feel for 9,023 fans enjoying a sunny, 77-degree afternoon. The Yankees, as per their home Grapefruit League opener tradition, wore pinstripes instead of the dark blue jerseys they otherwise wear in exhibition games.

Yankees luminaries Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Ron Guidry and Willie Randolph were among the club's guest instructors given grand introductions. Players from both teams stood along the foul lines for the anthem, although only the Yanks' starting lineup was introduced. There was a moment of silence to remember Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who died in September.

Severino's trouble began when he hit Cameron Maybin on the left wrist, eventually forcing Maybin out of the game with a contusion.

"I think when I got in the stretch [with runners on base] I wasn't finishing my pitches," Severino said, as opposed to his success from the windup. "Everything was up."

But Girardi generally shrugged off the right-hander's 37-pitch, four-out performance. …

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