Luis Severino was scheduled to start tonight for the Yankees, but manager Joe Girardi pushed his start to Wednesday, putting him in line to start Tuesday's likely Wild Card game against the Twins.
The move gives Severino just five days rest rather than six, which he prefers.
"I like to pitch on five days. When I rest a lot my arm feels very good, so I can't control my fastball. I feel better with five days," he said Sep. 20 before making a start against Minnesota.
Severino is 13-7 with a 3.03 ERA and 221 strikeouts in 187.1 innings. The 23-year-old right-hander isn't physically intimidating at 6'2'', 215 pounds, but his 100 mph fastball is.
He put it on display against the Twins last week, but was only effective for two innings before the Twins racked up four hits and one walk in a three-run third inning. Severino threw 46 pitches that inning and didn't come back out for the fourth.
After the game he said Joe Mauer's 13-pitch at-bat that ended with a 2-run single killed him.
“Everything was good until that at-bat against Mauer,” Severino said, according to the New York Daily News. “I was getting tired. I have to tip my cap to Mauer. That was it. I can’t go more than that. I threw 40-something pitches (that inning). I was tired.”
That was the first and only look at Severino for every hitter in the Twins' lineup with the exception of Jorge Polanco, who faced him a couple of times in the minor leagues. Polanco took Severino deep for a solo home run during a game at Triple-A in July of 2016.
Severino isn't invincible, but he's the lone Yankees starter that make a single game nine innings of 100 mph heat. Severino can maintain his velocity through six or more innings and then hand the ball to a New York bullpen that could feature a handful guys who touch 100 mph on the radar gun, including All-Star left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman.
In order for the Twins to have All-Star Ervin Santana on five days rest for the Wild Card game, they would have to start him on four days rest tomorrow against the Indians or just not start him at all until Tuesday.
Right now he's scheduled to pitch Thursday.
If the Twins don't change the rotation at all, Adalberto Mejia would be in line to start the Wild Card game.