Yankees ace Luis Severino will be shut down for two weeks by the team after an MRI revealed inflammation in his right shoulder.

He had been previously scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves. However, he threw a slider while warming up and felt something in the back of his shoulder. The team decided to scratch him from his start.

Stephen Tarpley wound up making the start instead, throwing a scoreless inning in Severino’s place. The Yankees announced during the game that the scratch came as a result of “right shoulder discomfort”. The diagnosis of inflammation came after the game.

“Better it happened now than during the season,” Severino said on Wednesday morning to Bryan Hoch. “I think it’s something that we can treat now and move forward to the season and be able to pitch.”

The Yankees committed to Severino as a cornerstone of the team going forward, signing him to a fully-guaranteed four-year, $40 million contract to avoid arbitration 30 minutes before his hearing was supposed to begin.

In the best case scenario, Severino will miss the first few series of the 2019 regular season. The Yankees are mostly facing teams that finished 2018 with a losing record so they can afford a temporary absence from Severino.

Originally expected to be the Opening Day starter, Severino’s spot will likely be filled in-house. Luis Cessa is already expected to make at least one start while CC Sabathia serves his five-game suspension from last year. Aaron Boone mentioned Domingo Germán and Jonathan Loáisiga as candidates for the job.

Jon Heyman at Fancred Sports linked the Yankees once again to lefty Gio González as a possible depth option on the free agent market. That signing would make sense if he were willing to take on a bullpen role once Severino and Sabathia are in their proper rotation slots.

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