The Yankees had to scratch Luis Severino before Thursday’s series finale against the Rays at Yankee Stadium, because of illness. Clarke Schmidt got the call to make the emergency spot start.
Severino had chills and a fever Wednesday night. The Bombers went for more extensive testing and put him on the COVID injured list before the game.
“He’s just on the list now. Last night, he got sick, had a fever, chills and all that. Doing a lot better today,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think his original rapid stuff was negative but we’ll have a better idea probably sometime tonight what the testing says.”
Schmidt found out Thursday afternoon that he would be starting.
“We started playing with it a little bit last night if [Severino] wasn’t able to go, which way did we want to go and we kind of settled on Clarke. But I actually didn’t tell him last night, I just didn’t want to mess with anything, especially since we didn’t know anything for sure yet,” Boone said. “So I gave him a call early this afternoon and let him know. He’s ready to roll and fired up. I just feel like he’s the right guy to get things off for us.”
The 26-year-old right-hander has made 11 appearances out of the bullpen this season, pitching to a 3.26 ERA. He’s struck out 15 and walked 10 in 19.1 innings pitched.
“I think Clark’s made huge steps this year. The strike-throwing has gotten significantly better. The stuff is there,” Boone said. “His sliders become a weapon for him. He’s gotten a good sinker, the four-seamer and the big curveball. But the sliders become a real factor for him this year.
“He continues to get better as a strike-thrower and for the most part, pitched really, really well for us and in some big spots. So excited to see him going out there. … Hopefully, he can get us potentially a time through the lineup or whatever. And we’ll see where we are.”
The Yankees are hopeful that Severino will not have to miss long, because they are already in a stretch that will test their bullpen. They called up Ryan Weber Thursday to give them cover for Schmidt’s spot.
“You gotta get a little more creative. We’re in a stretch right now where we don’t have a day off for a while. So you got to be mindful of that and get a little creative and, obviously, we’re going to play tomorrow and the next day and the next day. So you gotta keep those things in mind,” Boone said. “So you got to piece it together a little bit tonight, which will be a little more challenging, but also feel great about where we’re at as a team and as a pitching staff that we’re equipped to go out and not only handle it but still handle it with a lot of expectations.”
Domingo German, who began the season on the injured list with right shoulder impingement syndrome, came through his three-inning live batting practice fine on Wednesday and is ready to begin his rehab assignment, Boone said.
The Yankees seem to be stretching German out so that he can make some spot starts, but could also be a bulk-innings guy out of the bullpen.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Yankees were going for their 14th straight win at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. The Bombers are 28-7 at home this season, the best in the big leagues.
“We’re playing well wherever we are. So it’s great that we have played well here. I think we’ve certainly had a home-field advantage. I think the ballpark plays to our favor and our strengths. I know our guys love playing here,” Boone said. “I think coupled with it being the Yankees and Yankee Stadium, there’s always that energy and that feeling of walking into this place. But I think when we were playing the way we are, we’ve gotten off to the start we have, it does feel like the energy is even greater this year, you know, especially coming off in 2020 where there’s no fans and 2021 where they’re slowly back integrated into it.
“And now the start we’ve gotten on to it feels like the fans have played a big role. And that’s been fun to be here playing in the kind of games we have and you felt the crowd here. And that’s been pretty cool.”