Luis Severino off to an 0-6 7.46 start to the year, has been placed on the 15-day Disabled List and the rumor is that when he comes off, he could find himself back in the minor leagues.
If he doesn’t come back this year, he could end up with one of the worst records as a main-line starter, in Yankee history.
We tweeted that and immediately got feedback.
Crap we forgot about Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy — their second season when they were both in the starting rotation and did dreadful. Hughes was 0-4 6.87 and Kennedy was 0-4 8.34 — both dreadful, but Severino is 0-6 so has them beat. Plus Severino was the #2 starter coming into the year, while Hughes and Kennedy were slotted at back of the rotation, so the disapointment has been greater.
Phil Hughes & Ian Kennedy First 2 Years Amazingly Similar to Severino
Still — their situation is amazingly similar. Both Hughes and Kennedy were hyped as mainstays in the Yankee starting rotation for years to come — with Joba Chamberlain part of the “Big 3”.
Hughes and Kennedy had trial runs the season before, and did great. Then were horrible in year 2 and lost their spots in the Yankee rotation by May.
This actually provides hope for Yankee fans and Severino — as both Hughes and Kennedy rebounded and have had fine Major League careers as starters. Hughes and Kennedy both have an average year projected over 162 games of 13-11.
|162 Game Avg.||13||11||4.39||38||181||189||44||147|
|162 Game Avg.||13||11||3.95||34||205||192||69||189|
|162 Game Avg.||9||17||.357||4.53||34||184||193||60||157|
We aren’t actually ‘new here’ — we’ve been rooting for the Yankees since 1973 so our first-hand-watching experience covers the early 1990’s when the Yankees sported one of their worst set of teams in their history. Still you have to be really bad to beat an ERA of 7.38 and a winless record for as long as Severino was in the starting rotation.
Ed Whitson goes down as one of the biggest disasters as a Yankee starter, but his win-loss record was ok. He had signed a big free agent contract with the Yankees and was a disappointment in year 1 (10-8 4.88 in 1985) — during which he had a fight with Manager Billy Martin, breaking Martin’s arm while sustaining a cracked rib; he was turned into a reliever by year 2, when he went 5-2 7.54 — 4-0 7.36 out of the ballpen and 1-2 8.71 in 4 starts. During his tenure with the Yanks, the fans viciously booed him, and some even found out where he lived and threw stones at his house and left burning things on his front lawn. The Yanks traded him away for Tim Stoddard, and he went on to have some excellent years for San Diego.
|162 Game Avg.||11||11||3.79||39||29||194||194||18||60||110|
Ed Whitson gained a big fan following elsewhere, and today the Ed Whitson Love Child Rotisserie League is named in his honor and currently sponsors his baseball-reference page, with the current sponsor quote: “For the love of our first ever player drafted, our hero, esteem.”
Carl Pavano may have superceded Ed Whitson as failed free-agent big-time starter. After going 18-8 for Florida the Yanks signed him to a big free agent contract and he failed miserably. Still his 4-6 4.77 first season is better than Severino’s 2016. Pavano had some good starts, but was mostly bad — then got injured, then missed a year and in so doing, got into a traffic accident driving around Florida in his Porsche. During most of his tenure with the Yanks, he had constant injuries, some of them minor, which caused many teamates to feel he didn’t really care about pitching; he was simply collecting his paycheck — according to numerous newspaper reports at the time. The Yanks got rid of him and he achieved success later in his career, pissing off Yankee fans even more.
|162 Game Avg.||13||12||4.39||35||208||229||49||127|
Kei Igawa is a name in Yankee Failed-Free-Agent-Starter Lore. Signed to a big contract out of Japan, he BOMBED in NY. His off speed stuff could get people out in Japan, but in the Major Leagues, it was batting practice. He couldn’t even get minor leaguers out, which is where he spent most of the years of his Yankee contract. Still, his one year as a mainstay starter — 2007 — wasn’t as bad as Severino’s 2016.
|162 Game Avg.||5||9||6.66||38||168||209||87||124|
Other Horrible Seasons for Yankee Starters
We had to cheat and go back to remember the Yankee starters of 1989 thru 1992 — even though we watched every game back then. There were some bad ones, without the upside or the fastball that Severino has. Still their records were better. Notables in those years include Wade Taylor and Chuck Cary.
Hideki Irabu (“the Fat Toad”) was 5-4 7.09 in his inaugural season after signing the big contract and being heralded as a great Japanese pitcher who would be a Yankee ace. He had a very good 1998, when he was the best pitcher in baseball the first two months of the season, finishing 13-9 4.06.
In the mid sixties when the Yankees were terrible, they already had Fritz Peterson, Stan Bahnsen, and Al Downing on hand to go with Mel Stottlemyre and Jim Bouton — so they had starters who put up decent numbers. Bouton went 4-15 with a 4.82 in 1965 with a blown arm. Fred Talbot went 1-9 with a 3.36 in 1968.
Find the Worst Season for Any Mainline Yankee Starter Game
You can play a game and go back and see if you can find a worse starter, record wise. Remember the Yankees were Great from 1920 thru 1964 so it will be difficult.
Clearly Severino is not the worst Yankee starter ever — talent wise. His average fastball is 95; which was 7th best in the big leagues this year. But his lack of a good off-speed pitch this year had hitters sitting on the fastball. Hopefully Severino can work on his change of speeds and come back as a top-line starter of the future. Maybe even this year.