Severino continues baffling Triple-A hitters

Yankees top prospect tosses seven scoreless innings, strikes out six

Luis Severino has not allowed more than two earned runs in six starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. (Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | June 27, 2015 12:15 AM

To say Luis Severino has started to adjust to the International League might be a bit of an understatement.

The Yankees' top prospect gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings Friday night before Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre dropped a 2-0 decision to visiting Buffalo.

Severino, who did not figure in the decision, struck out six and issued two walks in his sixth start for the RailRiders. The 21-year-old right-hander threw 64 of 90 pitches for strikes while recording seven ground-ball outs.

"He was real good again," Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pitching coach Scott Aldred said. "Threw some good sliders, he used his changeup well. Fastball command was OK, but he had a lot of life to it. I'd like to see him command it a little better, but overall, he threw a ton of strikes and was in control the entire outing.

"I think he got a couple [of strikeouts] with all three [pitches]. I think it was balanced."

Severino has been nothing short of steller since being promoted from Double-A Trenton on May 31, going 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA. While his strikeout totals are down -- he has 24 over 36 1/3 innings at Triple-A vs. 48 in 38 innings for Trenton -- the native of the Dominican Republic has yet to yield a home run and has held International League foes to a .186 batting average.

"He's been great," Aldred said. "He's confident when he pitches. He attacks hitters and doesn't shy away from contact. He goes right at guys. It's a matter of continuing to command his pitches and executing more. I only expect him to get better."

His last two starts have been particularly dominant, with Severino allowing two unearned runs on seven hits while fanning 13 in 14 2/3 innings. Aldred credited the youngster's secondary pitches for the improvement.

"Just the consistency of his slider. It was a little erratic in his first few starts, but his last couple, it's been really good," the former Major Leaguer said. "He's thrown it for strikes early in the count, he's using it how he needs to be using it. When he's using his secondary stuff like that, he's pretty tough to hit.

"His changeup is as equally as good as the slider, and he has a lot of power in his fastball. I don't think it's one pitch that makes him, it's a combination of using the three."

Braden Pinder (0-2) came on in the eighth for the RailRiders and gave up two runs on two hits and two walks with one strikeout in one inning.

Veteran southpaw Jeff Francis (3-0) was just as good as Severino, limiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to four hits and a walk while striking out five seven innings for the Bisons. Gregory Infante notched his second save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Matt Hague hit an RBI single in the eighth and Luke Scott followed with a run-scoring double for Buffalo.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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