Luis Severino made his first rehab start in his comeback from Tommy John surgery and Aaron Boone said it was “very encouraging.”
Severino threw 34 pitches in the start on Sunday for Low-A Tampa and topped out at 98 mph in his first outing since undergoing elbow surgery in February 2020. He also threw 11 sliders.
“My understanding is he threw the ball really well,’’ Boone said before the Yankees finished their series against the Red Sox in The Bronx. “He went out for a third inning because his pitch count was so low.”
The right-hander allowed a run on two hits and a walk, and struck out three. He is scheduled to make another start on Saturday at either High-A Hudson Valley or Double-A Somerset, according to Boone.
“What I’ve seen in live batting practices leading up to this has been really good,’’ Boone said. “He feels really [good]. It sounds like [Sunday] was another positive step.”
Figuring he will need around five starts before he’s back in the Yankees’ rotation, Severino could be back next month.
The Yankees’ pitching has been solid, but the depth took a hit when Corey Kluber went down with a strained right shoulder.
Initially shut down for four weeks, Kluber could instead begin a throwing program sooner, but the state of his shoulder will be a question for the remainder of the year.
Luke Voit continued to do baseball activities and soft toss Sunday and Boone said if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks by the end of next week, could begin a rehab assignment on June 15. The Yankees have been unable to find a suitable replacement for Voit, who missed the first month of the season rehabbing left knee surgery and is currently on the IL with a strained left oblique. Most recently, they’ve turned to Chris Gittens, who went hitless in his MLB debut on Saturday and was back in the lineup Sunday.
While Zack Britton’s rehab progresses, the Yankees are still waiting for the return of Darren O’Day, out since April 30 with a rotator cuff strain. Boone said O’Day is “doing really well.”
The right-hander threw at 120 feet Saturday and “is probably close to getting on the mound,’’ according to Boone.
Britton, O’Day and Justin Wilson have missed time in the bullpen, with Wilson still out with a right hamstring strain.
Ryan LaMarre, out with a strained right hamstring, could begin a rehab assignment Tuesday. LaMarre lasted less than three games with the Yankees before he went down on May 20, further depleting an outfielding corps that already lost Aaron Hicks to a season-ending wrist injury. Brett Gardner was back in center Sunday.
Gardner entered Sunday just 3-for-28 with two extra-base hits, four walks and a dozen strikeouts in his previous 12 games.