Yankees place starter Luis Severino on 15-day IL with left upper-body injury

New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino (40) looks on against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino’s injury status should be updated soon. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The New York Yankees said they placed right-handed starting pitcher Luis Severino on the 15-day injured list with a left upper-body injury, in a Saturday morning announcement.

Right-handed reliever Ron Marinaccio was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a corresponding move. He is 4-5 with a 4.08 ERA in 44 relief appearances this season.

On Friday, Severino left the Yankees 8-2 loss at home against the Milwaukee Brewers in the top of the fifth inning. After giving up a leadoff single to Brice Turang, his discomfort was clear. Grimacing, he dropped his glove and grabbed his left side before leaving the field.

An emotional Severino spoke with reporters after the game and described his condition.

“I just feel like somebody shot me. It’s a deep, sharp pain” he said, fighting tears when asked what he thought the injury might be.

Severino was expected to undergo more diagnostic testing, the Yankees said Friday night. But further results were still “pending” Saturday morning.

There’s an element of uncertainty surrounding Severino’s future that seems compounded now, as this injury is the latest hurdle in a difficult stretch over the past few years.

The 29-year-old becomes a free agent after this season, and the likelihood that he will be able to complete the season on a strong note now hangs in the balance.

He made his season debut in mid-May after recovering from a lat strain that kept him sidelined in spring training. That injury also hampered him last season.

Declaring himself MLB’s “worst pitcher” in July, Severino seemed to be turning a corner leading up to Friday night. He was pitching well before his early exit, aside from a game-tying home run from Willy Adames in the fourth inning. Including his most recent performance, he has recorded a 6.65 ERA through 89 1/3 innings his season.

“I’ve been getting better, I was not expecting this,” Severino said after the game.

His four-year, $40 million contract extension came in 2019. He went on a tear in the previous two years with a 33-14 record, 3.18 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Those numbers earned him American League All-Star honors in 2017 and 2018.

“There’s a lot at stake for him,” manager Aaron Boone said Friday night. “He’s been through a lot over these last several years [with] injuries, and when he has pitched, he’s pitched really well. This year, when he came back, he really had an extended struggle when he’s been healthy for the first time in his career.”

Boone acknowledged Severino’s improvement in “the last four weeks or so.” Now, he and the rest of the club will push forward as the specifics of the pitcher’s condition unfold.

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