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Friday March 22nd, 2019 4:24AM

Yanks ace Severino to miss all of April because of shoulder

By The Associated Press
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees ace Luis Severino will miss all of April because of right shoulder inflammation.

Severino had been scheduled to start on opening day on March 28 but was scratched from his first planned spring training appearance on March 5. He felt discomfort after throwing his first slider in a pregame bullpen session.

"He's going to have to start from scratch and have his spring training," general manager Brian Cashman said Friday. "If it needs to be more, we've got to make sure we don't have a problem with it."

Severino is set to resume playing catch next week.

"I feel nothing right now," Severino said. "I want to deal with this issue and be 100 percent."

Cashman also said center fielder Aaron Hicks, sidelined since hurting his back during batting practice on March 1, might not be ready for opener against Baltimore.

"I think he'll be healthy prior to opening day," Cashman said. "It's just will he have enough at-bats, defensive reps, conditioning in advance. If we feel that it's better to err on the side of caution and give him some extra time to go through a mini-spring training, that's the decision we have to make."

Severino is a two-time All-Star who is 41-25 with a 3.51 ERA. He went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA last year but lost five of his last 11 decisions.

Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ are also projected to be in the Yankees' rotation.

Sabathia, who had a stent inserted in December after a blockage was found in an artery from his heart, is expected to miss his first two or three regular season starts. The lefty will have his first simulated game Saturday.

Jonathan Loaisiga, Domingo German and Luis Cessa are competing for the two open rotation spots. Cashman didn't rule out the Yankees using a reliever in an opener role that the Tampa Bay Rays used extensively last season.

Hicks has been on the disabled list in all six of his big league seasons, nine trips in all for hamstring strains (three times), oblique strains (twice), shoulder, forearm and intercostal strains, and a concussion.

Hicks has been increasing up his non-baseball activities and said without any setbacks will be ready to start the regular season on time.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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