New York Yankees' Luis Severino dealing with body soreness; next start moved to Saturday

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino's spring training start scheduled for Wednesday night was pushed back to Saturday because of body soreness.

Severino was limited to four late-season relief appearances in 2021 after having Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27, 2020. He is slated to follow Opening Day starter Gerrit Cole this season in the Yankees' rotation.

"He was a little sore coming out of his last one," New York manager Aaron Boone said after a 14-2 exhibition win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

"So we just want to push it back a little bit. I feel like it is general and us being cautious. But anytime I say that about a pitcher, especially his stature and what he's been through, yeah, it gives you a little bit (of a pause). I feel like it's something that resolves itself," he said.

A 19-game winner in 2018, Severino signed a $40 million, four-year contract before the 2019 season. He was limited by shoulder soreness to three appearances in 2019, the first on Sept. 17 and the last on Sept. 28, plus a pair of postseason starts

Boone said Jordan Montgomery will start the third game for the Yankees, with Jameson Taillon taking the mound for the fourth.

Taillon had offseason surgery to repair a right ankle tendon. The right-hander went 8-6 with a 4.30 ERA over 29 starts in his first season with the Yankees. Prior to last year, he hadn't pitched since May 1, 2019, while with the Pittsburgh Pirates because of Tommy John surgery.

Cole was slowed late last year by a left hamstring injury.

Nestor Cortes Jr. is the fifth starter.

"Nestor, could just depending on what we do in the first two games and you know with the off day in there, he may go the fifth game or he may go the sixth game," Boone said. "That's kind of the plan right now. But again, I don't want to announce anything as official but that's kind of how it's lining up."

The Yankees open the regular season at home on April 7 against the Boston Red Sox.