After splitting a pair of Spring contests against the Phillies, the Yankees return to Tampa on Sunday to face the Blue Jays.
Starting for New York is the enigmatic Luis Severino. Severino burst onto the scene in 2015, posting a 2.89 ERA over 11 starts. He was a favorite for breakout candidate in 2016. But, that was not the case. In 11 2016 starts, “Rino” was 0-8 with an awful 8.50 ERA.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel, however. Severino pitched 23.1 innings out of the bullpen last year and picked up three wins while posting a miniscule .39 ERA. This shows that he is one more offspeed pitch away from succeeding as a starting pitcher.
As for the Blue Jays, they’ll bring a split squad team. This means we will not see superstar sluggers like Bautista and Josh Donaldson.
Starting for Toronto is the righthander Brett Oberholtzer. Yankee fans with a sharp memory might remember that, two years ago, Oberholtzer beaned Alex Rodriguez and was ejected from a game in which he allowed five first-inning runs. Brett was a member of the Houston Astros at the time and was immediately demoted to Triple-A after the game.