New York Yankees Player Profiles: Jonathan Loaisiga, he could have an Impact

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga
Sep 30, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (38) walks off of the field after the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees Jonathan Stanley Loaisiga Estrada was born on November 2, 1994. This will be a short profile because there is little personal information on Loaisiga. The 24-year-old was born in Managua, Nicaragua. We know that Jonathan played baseball as a child, but it was not in any organized manner.

Nicaragua is a country that embraces baseball as the national sport. But that was not always the case; in 1967, professional baseball ended in Nicaragua. It gradually came back in the ’70s. It, along with soccer, are the popular sports played by schoolboys. Jonathan, like most other kids, played baseball in sandy lots using oranges or rocks for a ball and milk cartons for gloves.

In Nicaragua, many schools and even colleges don’t have baseball teams, in favor of soccer teams. Because of that, there are not a lot of Nicaraguan baseball players. It is not known where, but Loaisiga who wanted to be a pitcher, was playing in a try out for one of the four teams in the country and was spotted by a scout of the San Francisco Giants. The Giants paid for him to come to the United States and signed him as an International Free Agent in 2012.  The most famous Nicaraguan player was Dennis Martinez who pitched 11 or his 23 years in the majors, withthe Baltimore Orioles.

They assigned him to the Dominican Summer League, centered in Boca Chica, the Dominican Republic. This is the same training facility that Luis Severino and Domingo German came through. His record there was 8-1 with an ERA of 2.75. He did not play in 2014 or 2015 due to injuries, and he was eventually released by the Giants.

Enter the New York Yankees, who signed Loaisiga in February of 2016. He started the season with the Charleston River dogs, but after just one game, he again injured his arm, requiring Tommy John surgery. After the end of the season, he was added to the roster and started 2017 with the Gulf Coast League Tampa and then the Staten Island Yankees. He had a 1-1 record in eleven starts but with a 1.38 ERA.

In 2018 he earned a promotion to the Trenton Thunder, where he pitched in six starts while striking out 32 in 25 innings. He then skipped AAA as he was called up to replace the injured Masahiro Tanaka. In his debut, he pitched five scoreless innings for the win. He pitched in four more games before being optioned to AAA Scranton Wilkes/Barre but was called back up at the end of the season with the roster expansion.

In 2018 hit pitched in 9 games going 2-0 and last year he is 2-2 in 31.2 innings over 15 games including two scoreless innings the September 15  shut out of the Los Angeles Angels. Loaisiga was heavily used during September with 8 of his 15 games played in the month.  He performed poorly in the ALDS and was not of the ALCS roster. It is too early to say what his future is with the Yankees, but without Delin Betances and being short Severino for the season the New York Yankees will need him.

According to if James Paxton is game ready at the beginning of the season when it starts, the Yankees may have to rely on him as the fifth starter.  Ideally the Yankees considering his injury history should use Jonathan as a long and short reliever rather than a starter. In spring training he pitched quite well. In five games, three starts he pitched to a 2.70 ERA in ten innings

Again, there is little known about his private life or loves, but he is not attached to any scandals. During his time at the Stadium, he has become well-liked in the clubhouse and his fellow players have saddled him with the nickname “Johnny Lasagna”.   He has an Instagram account but it includes no personal information, only photos.