The New York Yankees promising young right-handed pitcher Luis Severino was finally crowned ace of the pitching staff this 2018 season. But was it too soon? Severino’s bright star has been visible for the last couple of years. With the veteran arms of Yankees CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka no longer striking fear into the bats of opponents, all hopes were on the young righthander. Upon being tapped to be the opening day starter. The die was cast.

Severino looking ready for his coronation, was near unhittable posting a 16-2 record, with a 1.98 ERA during the first half of the season.

There was talk of the CY Young award and helping this strong hitting Yankee team to a championship. However, something happened after the All-Star break.

Severino a reversal of fortunes

In the second half of the year, Severino was painful to watch. His record dropped to 5 - 6 and a 5.57 ERA. What happened? More than the hits, the runs and the loses, there was something amiss with Luis Severino. No one has said anything. However, first-hand accounts would have you know that he has lost the movement and control on his fastball and the sharp break on his slider, rendering his change-up ineffective.

What went south for Luis Severino?

Amateurs might say that it looks like Severino is squeezing the ball, intimating that in order to control his fastball more he may gripping it tighter.

From this viewer’s perspective, this is causing his fastball to lose all movement, and thus all effectiveness. Without the lively, pinpoint control of his fastball, Luis Severino became a very average pitcher. Unfortunately, the Yankees record reflected Severino’s second-half woes. At one point the Yanks dropped to 11.5 games behind the league-leading Red Sox.

In fact, they eventually suffered an embarrassing 16-1 loss in an important American League Division Series game, at Yankee Stadium, in which Severino’s poor start was partially to blame.

Can he return to his 16-2 form for 2019?

One thing is for sure. Luis Severino and Yankee fans are doing a lot of soul-searching right now. Was he crowned the next coming of Louisiana Lightning, Ron Guidry, too soon?

Was he reading his own headlines too much and did it get to his head? We will find out a lot from Severino between now, following the Yankees elimination in the ALDS, and next season. If he gets the right mentoring and can re-acquire the confidence he had during the first half of the 2018 campaign, all may be well. If Luis Severino can find a way to just let loose, all may be well. However, professional sports graveyard’s are littered with shooting stars that simply burned out too soon.