Drastic times call for drastic measures for the New York Yankees.
Thanks to their marathon 13-inning loss against the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of their American League Division Series, the Yankees' bullpen may be short of available arms if Game 3 starter Masahiro Tanaka is pulled early Sunday. That shortage of relievers has prompted manager Joe Girardi to strongly consider using Luis Severino out of the bullpen in order to survive the elimination game, despite him being tabbed to start a possible Game 4.
"Yes, he will be in the bullpen tonight if we need him," Girardi told reporters prior to Sunday's contest, courtesy of ASAP Sports. "We will use him. Hopefully we get distance out of Tanaka and we don't have to, but we'll see what happens."
Despite pitching to a sparkling 2.98 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 31 regular-season starts, Severino's last appearance for the Yankees was nothing like his performances during the 2017 campaign. The 23-year-old was absolutely battered by the Minnesota Twins in the American League wild-card game on Oct. 3, allowing two home runs in the opening frame and only recording a single out before being replaced on the mound by Chad Green.
When asked if using Severino in an emergency relief role would completely alter the club's pitching plans for the rest of the series - including possibly starting Sonny Gray on short rest for Game 4 - Girardi admitted he plans to simply play it by ear.
"I'm not sure what we would do tomorrow," he said. "Really, today it's kind of all hands on deck and whatever happens, then we'll make a decision."