Severino optioned by Yanks after loss to Sox

Severino optioned by Yanks after loss to Sox

BOSTON -- Less than 24 hours after making his return to the Yankees' starting rotation, right-hander Luis Severino was packing his bags for a return to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, asked to regain confidence in his changeup, a pitch both the pitcher and the club feel has been lacking.

"I'm not throwing it because I don't have the same confidence I had two years ago," Severino said on Wednesday. "I'm trying to find out. But I've got to figure it out and come back."

"I think to get through lineups a third time, which you want all of your pitchers to be able to do, as a kid with stuff like that, you need to have a third pitch," manager Joe Girardi said. "If you don't have your slider that day, you have to have something else that you can go to. And if you don't locate your fastball one day, you have to have something else that you can go to."

Right-handed reliever Blake Parker, whom the Yankees claimed off waivers from the Mariners on Tuesday, took Severino's roster spot.

During Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Red Sox, in which he allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, Severino showed the best and worst sides of his repertoire but stuck mainly with his high-90s fastball and sinker.

Following Severino's first start for the Yankees since May 13, Girardi sounded encouraged. But on Wednesday afternoon, after he had watched game film, the manager changed his tune.

"When we watched last night's start, his fastball command was not great," Girardi said. "His slider was somewhat inconsistent. Granted, he was facing a really difficult lineup and he didn't throw many changeups. There were four left-handers in the lineup last night. We really want to finish him off."

Girardi also pointed to his depleted bullpen as a reason for the move, as Anthony Swarzak threw 40 pitches over two innings in relief of Severino, but the manager reiterated that it was necessary for his starter to corral that third pitch.

"I really believe this is a short blip on the screen," Girardi said. "I believe he made a lot of progress before, but we need to see more."

Though Severino was hoping to make at least a couple more starts to prove his ability, he fully understood the club's rationale.

"I think that I want to [make] a couple of more starts, maybe two or three more," Severino said. "It's difficult to be a starter with two pitches."

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.