The New York Yankees faced off against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday evening, emerging victorious 4–1, courtesy of a phenomenal starting pitching performance from Jhony Brito.
However, the team announced a bit of bad news before the contest, losing starting infielder Josh Donaldson to a hamstring injury and one of their top bullpen arms, Jonathan Loaisiga, to right elbow information, retroactive to April 6.
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The Yankees can easily replace Josh Donaldson:
Donaldson was placed on the 10-day injured list, but the Yankees are optimistic he can make a return within the next two weeks or so. Donaldson has experienced a slow start to the 2023 season at 37 years old. He’s hitting .125 with a .176 OBP, including one homer over 17 plate appearances.
Unfortunately, his numbers aren’t recovering to his career averages after an awful 2022 season. Donaldson hit .222 with a .308 OBP last year at 36 years old but earning $25 million for the 2023 season, and the Yankees have no choice but to roll with him.
Ideally, general manager Brian Cashman would have found a way to trade Donaldson, but nobody wants an aging outfielder experiencing massive regression with a lofty price tag. The Yankees had Josh starting at third base, but the better strategy may have DJ LeMahieu involved and Gleyber Torres starting at second base on a daily basis.
In the meantime, the Yankees have DJ LeMahieu manning the third base position, in which he’s locked down with excellent defense. LeMahieu is hitting .276 with a .895 OPS, including a homer and three RBIs this season.
Loaisiga, on the other hand, was a surprise move, heading to the 15-day injured list. Right elbow inflammation is certainly an injury that requires caution, but the Bombers want to ensure he’s 100% healthy for the remainder of the season.
Loaisiga experienced three appearances this year, pitching 3.1 innings and hosting a 2.70 ERA. His velocity is down significantly to 97.2 mph, compared to 98.1 last year.
The Yankees need a healthy Johnny, considering he’s one of their more reliable arms, especially when the post-season rolls around. One way or another, letting him recover is essential, even if it takes a few weeks.