Yankees’ hard-throwing reliever sidelined with elbow inflammation

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Loáisiga joins the Yankees‘ laundry list of injured players as he deals with right elbow inflammation, being placed on the 15-Day IL and potentially out for the remainder of the season. The Yankees recalled longtime farmhand Zach McAllister, who joined the Yankees after leaving the Diamondbacks’ organization, posting a 1.62 ERA and 33.3% K% in 16.2 IP as a reliever and opener. For the Yankees, it’s another devastating blow in their bullpen, as they recently placed Kenyan Middleton on the IL alongside Albert Abreu and Ian Hamilton in September, and their depth is growing thinner.

They recently optioned Ron Marinaccio and Matt Krook after the struggles on the mound at the Major League level, so they turn to a veteran arm who they believe can eat innings as well. For Loáisiga, this is another season riddled with injury issues, and now he has his second elbow injury of the year.

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What’s Next for the Yankees and Jonathan Loáisiga?

jonathan loaisiga, yankees
Oct 18, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (43) reacts after striking out Cleveland Guardians first baseman Gabriel Arias (not pictured) to end the sixth inning in game five of the ALDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Following an incredible end to the season where he was the Yankees’ best reliever in September and in the postseason as well, Loáisiga was incredible upon his return from the IL in August before a string of bad outings against the Brewers that likely were affected by the inflamed elbow. Following his bone spur issues in April that kept him on the IL for four months, it’s hard to be optimistic regarding a second injury to the elbow.

The 28-year-old right-hander had a 3.06 ERA and 53.3% GB% in his 17.2 innings of work this year, and after posting a 0.96 ERA in the 2022 postseason, hopes were high for what Loáisiga could accomplish in 2023. His body has unfortunately betrayed him, with two injuries to the elbow being a death sentence for one’s season, and in Loáisiga’s case, it could eat into his 2024 season as well. Elbow inflammation immediately makes you think of the dreaded Tommy John Surgery, and while we don’t know much yet, the early news isn’t encouraging.

We’ll see how severe the injury is as Aaron Boone meets with the media and they do further testing, but it’s another serious injury for the Yankees, who are still reeling from a devastating UCL tear diagnosis for Jasson Dominguez.