Slowing down pays off for Severino

Slowing down pays off for Severino

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The goal for Luis Severino in his spring start against the Rays on Tuesday was to locate his fastball, and the best way for him to do that was to slow down.

Severino made one mistake, giving up a wind-aided home run to Rickie Weeks Jr. in the second inning, but struck out the side in the third inning to close strong, though the Yankees went on to drop the contest, 10-6.

He gave up two hits and a run while striking out four in three innings.

Severino said his three strikeouts in the third inning all came off sliders.

"I felt good on the mound. I wasn't rushing to the plate," Severino said. "And I felt more confident. I've been working on being patient."

Severino said his pace has affected his fastball command and that he sees better results by slowing everything down.

"It's not hard," he said. "If I look at the [target] and try to hit it every time, not trying to throw the hardest I can, I will hit it many times."

Catcher Gary Sanchez said Severino's location was good on Tuesday and can be a strong suit if he continues to stick to his commitment of being patient with his delivery.

"Definitely, his location was better this time around," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "The key for him is to slow, to breathe and take it easy. Because even when he does that, he can still throw 98 [mph]. His velocity isn't going to go down. He's not going to be perfect; there will be times he's going to rush a little bit, and that's what I'm there for -- to calm him down."

Sanchez says Torres is a five-tool player: Gleyber Torres went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs on Tuesday.

Torres' two-run home run

Torres, who started at second base, is hitting .455 in the Grapefruit League, and Sanchez said the 20-year-old prospect is impressive.

"To be his first Spring Training, I would say it's been great," Sanchez said. "There have been a lot of expectations, and he's been able to show his skills. He's a five-tool player with a lot of talent. He is impressive."

Sanchez expects Torres to continue to play at a high level, and could see him in the Major Leagues sooner than expected.

"It's hard to say because baseball is tricky," Sanchez said. "If you're hitting and playing well, you have a really good chance to make it to the big leagues. He's done a great job for us. If he doesn't start with the team now, he's close."

Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.