Yankees’ once promising bullpen arm may have tossed his last pitch in pinstripes

jonathan loaisiga, yankees
Apr 5, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (43) delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ bullpen has taken a few hits over the past two weeks, with Tommy Kahnle suffering a setback in his rehabilitation from a shoulder issue and Jonathan Loaisiga being shut down for the remainder of the 2024 season after sustaining a UCL injury.

Last week, the Yankees announced that Loaisiga was being placed on the 60-day injured list with a right flexor strain, but they upgraded the injury to one step below Tommy John surgery. He won’t require that specific surgery, he will have a similar procedure to the one Michael King had, knocking him out for the rest of the season and likely ending his career with the Yankees.

Yankees Lose Another Talented Player

Loaisiga was an exciting young pitcher back in 2021, pitching 70.2 innings with a 2.17 ERA. Since that peak season, he managed a maximum of 48 innings back in 2022 before he came to injuries in 2023, throwing 17.2 innings and only managing 4.0 this year.

The Yankees were trying to utilize him in a multi-inning relief role, giving him more time to rest in between outings but throwing more when called upon.

Obviously, that strategy did not work, and what used to be shoulder inflammation is now a significant elbow injury — he will hit free agency after the 2024 season comes to an end.

The Bombers are still waiting for Lou Trivino, Scott Effross, and Kahnle to make recoveries. Kahnle is ahead of the bunch since Effross is still recovering from back surgery over the winter, and Trivino is working his way back from Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees view them as de facto trade deadline acquisitions, so they won’t have to make any more additions to the bullpen, but they could be looking for a starting pitcher.

Unfortunately, a number of quality starters have already gone down this year due to injury, including Gerrit Cole. Fortunately, it seems as if he’s dodged the worst of it, but one of the Yankees’ possible deadline targets, Shane Bieber, will need Tommy John surgery after going down on Saturday afternoon.

There seems to be an epidemic of injuries in baseball, and many different theories about why this is happening. However, the Yankees are simply hoping to hold on and maintain the majority of their players until they can make reinforcements in a few months over the summer.

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