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The New York Yankees embraced the opener as a means of breaking right-hander Luis Severino out of his year-long slump, but the results were about the same. 

Severino, who had initially been slated to start against the Chicago White Sox (NYY-CHW GameTracker), did not take the mound in the first inning on Wednesday. That honor instead went to reliever Ian Hamilton, who made his second career big-league "start." (Hamilton also served as an opener back on July 1.) 

Hamilton pitched a scoreless first against the White Sox, and then Severino took over. Unfortunately for Severino and the Yankees, the change in role didn't yield better results. In two innings of work, Severino allowed four runs on five hits with two strikeouts, one walk, and one home run allowed. 

Coming into the game, Severino, 29, had posted a 7.74 ERA (55 ERA+) across 13 starts this season, marks well below his career norms entering the year (3.39 ERA, 126 ERA+). He's been particularly poor as of late, surrendering at least five runs in three of his five prior starts.

Regardless of role, these numbers show Severino has in particular struggled early in his outings: 

Prior to the game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone conceded to reporters that Severino was unhappy with the decision but was willing to go along with the idea. "I hope he's the impact guy that we know he can be," Boone said when asked about Severino's likely role after Wednesday's outing. "I expect that to be as a starting pitcher. Hoping [today] is something that can change the look for him."

Those hopes obviously weren't realized, and now the near-term future is uncertain for Severino, who's slated for free agency this coming offseason. 

The "opener" strategy originated with the 2018 Tampa Bay Rays. The thinking behind it is that it helps the "bulk" pitcher -- that is, the individual like Severino who is expected to work four-plus innings -- by limiting their exposure to the top of the opponent's lineup. That's important since pitchers historically perform worse the more often they see the opposition in a game, and a team's best hitters tend to be located at the top of their order.

Of course, the "opener" itself isn't a failsafe strategy -- there are various reasons why it hasn't swept the league the way that it once seemed primed to. It's also not going to magically morph Severino into his better self. That said, you can't blame the Yankees for trying something different -- particularly when they entered Wednesday some 4 1/2 games back in the hunt for the third and final American League wild-card spot.