Before Major League Baseball completely shut down operations and canceled the remainder of spring training, the New York Yankees were preparing to feature a bevy of reserve options on their March 26 Opening Day.
The outfield was set to miss all three starters as Aaron Judge is dealing with a stress fracture in a rib, Giancarlo Stanton a calf strain, and Aaron Hicks recovering from Tommy John surgery. The starting pitching rotation was also stripped of two top-end pitchers — Luis Severino is done for the season, and James Paxton is recovering from surgery to extract a cyst from his lower back.
Luckily, the Yankees have plenty of talent to supplement injury concerns, but with the extension of the regular season start date, most of the previously injured players should be ready to go by early May.
The New York Yankees have their secret weapon locked and loaded:
Jonathan Loaisiga is the Yankees’ secret weapon in 2020, as he looked stellar this spring. At 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, Loaisiga earned essential reps in 2019, ironing out some of the kinks in his game. This offseason, he added off-speed pitches to his arsenal in an attempt to diversify his pitching repertoire.
“There is a chance for a spot in the rotation. If that happens, I have to do my job on the field,” said Loaisiga about a month ago.
Injuries can be a good thing for players on the come-up, and his quality this spring was earning him consideration as the Yankees’ 5th starter with Paxton out until May.
In 10 innings this spring, he posted a 2.70 ERA with two homers allowed and 14 strikeouts. His strikeout rate was impressive, which earned him praise from Yankees’ skipper, Aaron Boone.
Moving forward, Loaisiga will feature in the bullpen, but he has the quality to earn starting reps if he continues improvement and showing off his skills. I believe he will get his shot at some point in 2020.