HOUSTON – The Yankees were determined to escape this season with an economic rotation led by young ace Luis Severino and a cast of veterans and some key young players to close the gap.
So confident were they in this plan that they gave Severino a four-year extension and $ 40 million in spring training.
All this can still work, but things have changed.
The year came to a complete halt for Severino when the Yankees announced to the House of Horrors on Tuesday night for 6-3 losses to the Astros in Minute Maid Park that Severino will be closed for six weeks with what they say is a new injury. , a degree 2 tension lat.
Do not forget that Noah Syndergaard had a lat injury in 2017. He was injured on April 30 and did not return until September 23.
The Yankees do not like to deviate from a plan, and that's what it would take to sign free-agent freezer Dallas Keuchel. Still, Keuchel is a proven winner and only released 100 pitches in a simulated game.
They have CC Sabathia on tap, as well as Gio Gonzalez, who pitched six shut innings on Tuesday night at Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre.
Aaron Boone said with conviction after this horrible and ugly loss that his Yankees are close to achieving it.
"You can not deny how important it is and how good the pitcher is," Boone said of Severino, "but we're also very close to making this work at a high level." I have no doubts in my mind and even in these two games some mistakes or plays that we did not do that we could have, change the game.
"The bottom line is that we have come up against two pitchers [Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole] and I've had late leads and I just have not been able to keep them. "
Signing Keuchel would be a bold move. The left-hander is a proven winner and holds a 73-55 record in the American League with a 3.54 ERA.
Keuchel, 31, is also tested in battle in October, with nine starts in the postseason and a 4-2 record with a 3.31 ERA.
He remains the free agent in limbo, represented by Scott Boras, and is becoming more popular every day. The Dodgers lost starter Hyun-Jin Ryu with a left groin injury on Monday.
"The Dodgers should be on Keuchel," a scout in the game told The Post on Tuesday night. That was about 90 minutes before the Yankees made the announcement that Severino will not touch a baseball for six weeks.
The Yankees should be all over Keuchel. They checked him early in the free agent period, but that was it. They should take another look.
Adding Keuchel would be an advantage, since the former Astro knows the composition of this Houston team, and you know that if the Yankees can save their pitching, they will meet the Astros again in October in the heart of Texas.
The 5-6 Yankees are lucky that the Red Sox (3-9) are in a post-World Series game and their ace, left-hander Chris Sale, is fighting (9.00 ERA), making only four innings in one 7-5 defeat to the humble Blue Jays on Tuesday in the first game of the Boston home.
Houston had an initial launch plan very different from that of the Yankees, and helped win the World Series in 2017, defeating the Yankees in the ALCS when the series changed here in the last two games, both won by the Astros.
They left and landed Verlander when they already had Keuchel. This spring, Verlander was given an extension of $ 66 million for two years.
They also defeated the Yankees in an exchange with the Pirates for Cole in January 2018. The big arms stabilize a rotation.
As it is now, this rotation of the Yankees does not scare anyone, and there will be many more nights like Tuesday, when it will take at least six pitchers to overcome a game.
Sure, you can build a bullpen and hope you've accumulated enough initial pitching depth, but the first two or three players have to be your strength.
Keuchel may not fit the Yankees' plans at this time, but he should.