Although some of the more seasoned members of New York's rotation remain dogged by durability concerns, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has no doubt Luis Severino will be able to withstand a considerable workload in his first full season in the Bronx.
"I think he can handle 200 innings," Girardi told Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Thursday morning.
Hailed throughout his minor-league career as a future rotation stalwart, Severino impressed in his two-month stint with the Yankees last summer, authoring a 2.89 ERA (137 ERA+) with a 2.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his first 11 starts in the majors. Between stops with the Yankees and the club's two highest minor-league affiliates, however, Severino logged a total of 161 2/3 innings, establishing a new career-high while increasing his workload 30 percent from the year before.
Should Severino make it to 200 innings, the young right-hander wouldn't just endure a substantial increase in innings for a third straight summer, he'd also become only the 41st pitcher since 1975 to log a 200-inning campaign before his age-23 season. None of the previous 40 pitchers to accomplish the feat did so in a Yankees uniform.
Despite Girardi's optimism, Fangraphs' Steamer model projects Severino to fall well shy of 200 innings, albeit while still emerging as the club's third-best starter behind right-handers Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda.
2016 Steamer Projections