Sportress of Blogitude

Brian Cashman on Pedro Martinez mentoring Luis Severino: He ‘owed us’

Luis Severino is quickly developing into the breakout star of the New York Yankees starting rotation. And it appears the guidance provided this past offseason by former Yankees nemesis Pedro Martinez proved to be the big turning point.

And to hear it from Brian Cashman, it was the least former Boston Red Sox ace could do after tormenting the Yankees for so many years.

The Yankees general manager cracked a joke about the pitcher’s dominance of the Bronx Bombers over the years, while also citing how Martinez’s motivation has nothing to do with the Yankees. It stems from Martinez’s desire to help out his countryman, as both pitchers hail from the Dominican Republic.

“I always considered Pedro the best righthanded pitcher I ever saw, and I know firsthand the damage he did to the Yankees over the years. So, I feel that Pedro owed us something,” Cashman said recently, via the Boston Globe. “So if by working with Luis over the winter he was able to pick up something on his changeup, then we’re very grateful. I know Pedro didn’t do it for the Yankees, but he did it for one of his countrymen. And we’re happy about that.”

Martinez held the Yankees in check like no other pitcher of the time during his heyday with the Red Sox. As noted by NJ.com’s Joe Giglio, Martinez had 261 strikeouts with a 3.20 ERA in 216 innings spread over 32 starts. No other pitcher came close to that kind of dominance over the formidable Yankees lineup of that era.

To say the Yankees should be grateful for Martinez mentoring Severino would be an understatement. The 23-year-old win-loss and ERA stats so far this season aren’t mind-blowing by any measure (1-1 in three starts with a 4.05 ERA).

But Severino has posted an impressive 27 strikeouts to only two walks in 20 innings while posting a 0.80 WHIP to go with a 3.12 FIP, numbers far and above what he previously has accomplished in his young career.