Series vs. Reds allow pitching rotation tweaks

NEW YORK — A three-game Yankees series against the last-place Cincinnati Reds will not generate nearly as much buzz as their meetings with the rival Red Sox – especially when Boston games bookend the series.

Still, the Tuesday-to-Thursday set at Yankee Stadium gives the club a chance to make some important tweaks in the leadup to the All-Star break, starting with the rotation.

To keep ace Gerrit Cole on regular rest (and line him up to start Sunday’s first-half finale against Boston), manager Aaron Boone flip-flopped Cole and Luis Severino, who gets an extra day of rest before taking the ball for Game 2 vs . Cincinnati.

“Bumping Sevy back to Wednesday prevents him from making two more [starts] before the break,” Boone said prior to Tuesday’s game. “We’ll slot him in on that weekend [July 22-24] in Baltimore and probably do the same with Nestor [Cortes] – he’ll probably go with the back end of the rotation coming out of the All-Star break.”

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium.

Severino threw 84 innings in his first 15 starts, less than half of the amount he pitched during his last two full seasons, 2017 (193⅓) and 2018 (191⅓). He had worked just 18 innings since, missing all of 2020 due to Tommy John surgery.

Cortes, who earned his first All-Star nod with a 7-3 start, is up to 88⅔ innings and is likely to surpass his career high (93 last year) when he starts the Reds final series.

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