NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The odds-on favorites in the American League this season suddenly have a big problem.
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters on Tuesday that tests on starter Luis Severino revealed a partially torn ulnar-collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and that he will miss the entire season. In addition, Tommy John reconstruction surgery has been recommended.
"Sevy acknowledged and agreed the surgery is necessary," Cashman said. "The plan is to have it as soon as possible, and he's obviously contemplating the doctors and who to do it with, so he's still working through the process."
Though the Yankees have considerable pitching depth, it will not be easy replacing Severino, who was thought to be healthy after missing almost all of last season due to shoulder and lat injuries. Severino was shut down last Thursday after experiencing forearm stiffness, a problem manager Aaron Boone said the 26-year-old right-hander admitted to having since October.
Severino had an MRI in New York in early December and was cleared to start his throwing program. He experienced discomfort while throwing his changeup on flat ground during January in the Dominican Republic. Severino returned to New York, and another MRI and CT scan were negative.
Severino is 42-26 with a 3.46 ERA in 99 career appearances, including 88 starts, but has pitched just 20 1-3 innings, including the postseason, since signing a four-year, $40 million contract extension a year ago.
The Yankees are already without starter James Paxton. The veteran left-hander had a procedure to remove a cyst and microscopic lumbar surgery on Feb. 5. Initially thought to be out three or four months, Paxton told reporters on Saturday he has made considerable progress in his recovery and could start throwing soon, making it possible he rejoins the rotation by May.
Domingo German is suspended for the first 63 games of the season for violating the league's domestic violence policy, and could be eligible to return to the club on June 5.
Due to the injuries, the Yankees' work-in-progress rotation includes Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, Jay Happ, and Jordan Montgomery, with youngsters Jonathan Loaisiga, Mike King, Deivi Garcia, Luis Cessa, and Clarke Schmidt potentially getting opportunities until Paxton returns.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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