Last night the New York Yankees picked up their third straight win as they defeated the Seattle Mariners 5-4. It was one of those games that made you a little nervous if you were a fan of the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees jumped out to an early lead of 5-1, but a three-run homerun cut the lead down to one with a few innings to go. At the beginning of the year, fans had little to nothing to worry about with the bullpen in a game like that. However, lately it seems that no lead is safe with the Yankees.
After a string of horrendous outings, the Yankees didn’t go to Aroldis Chapman last night. Instead, they went with an 8-9 combination of Jonathan Loaisiga and Chad Green. It was six up and six down with four punchouts for the two righties as the Yankees secured a big win.
Despite all of the injuries and issues with the Yankees bullpen this year, Green and Loaisiga have been two gems. Both pitching to an ERA under 2.25 with WHIPs under one. If you can depend on anyone in the pen, it seems to be Loaisiga and Green.
If we look to the future, the Yankees have some decisions to make with the bullpen. Zack Britton has a team option at the end of this year which the team is likely to decline. They might even look to move him at the deadline if he can come back healthy.
Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green both have one more year under contract after this season. We all know the Yankees likely won’t bring back Chapman and Green could command a big premium. With that in mind, is Jonathan Loaisiga is the closer of the future?
The Next Great Yankees Closer?
When Loaisiga came up through the minors, he did so as a starting pitcher. The Yankees had envisioned Loaisiga as a guy who would come up and help with the rotation. However, he’s proving this year that he’s so much better out of the pen.
Loaisiga possesses nasty stuff with the ability to throw 100+ with movement and he has nice off-speed pitches to pair. Most great closers don’t come up through the system as relievers, but they do as starters. Even the great Mariano Rivera started out as a starter.
Loaisiga has developed multiple pitch options which makes him very dangerous on the mound as a reliever. The 26 year old has blossomed this year and I think he’s going to be a key piece of the bullpen moving forward. Loaisiga looks like he can turn into one of the best closers in the game with time.
Am I getting ahead of myself here a little? Of course I am, but what Yankee fan doesn’t think about the future of the ballclub. Loaisiga is under team control through the 2024 season. He’s got nasty stuff and he’s proving to be one of the more reliable arms in the bullpen.
While the closer role between the rest of this season and next likely belongs to either Green or Chapman, don’t be surprised to see Loaisiga get the role after 2022. With his stuff, he just might turn into the Yankees next great closer.
Sound Off: Do you think the Yankees should keep Loaisiga in the pen moving forward to be a future closer or should they try to put him back in the rotation eventually?