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

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

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.

New York Yankees have their secret weapon in the bullpen if need be

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

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.

New York Yankees: The starting rotation will be solidified for the start of the regular season

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The big storyline for the New York Yankees this off-season has been the injury bug, aside from the deadly Corona Virus that has shut down Major League Baseball operations. The regular season is too far out to see at this point, after the league pushed back the expected March 26 Opening Day for the Yankees and many other teams.

The injury bug took it’s toll on the Yankees before spring training even began, taking down No. 2 starter Luis Severino for the entire 2020 campaign and hindering the progress of James Paxton, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton.

The loss of Severino and Paxton disrupted the starting pitching rotation, and force the Yankees to supplement their losses before any live-action even began. With Severino missing all of 2020, Jordan Montgomery will slide in as the fifth man in the rotation. However, Paxton is expected to return in early-May, and the start of the regular season could fall right around that time.

This will ultimately give the Yankees the consistency and cemented rotation they expected going into the upcoming season.

Last week, Paxton began throwing from 60-feet, starting his physcial rehabilitation process. With the MLB stating that the regular season won’t begin for at least eight weeks, he will have plenty of time to recover fully and prepare to slot in behind Gerrit Cole as the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation.

The New York Yankees have a few rising stars who can help if called upon:

One lowkey pitcher who has looked phenomenal this spring training is Jonathan Loaisiga. The young Nicaraguan pitched 10 innings, posting a 2.70 ERA with 14 strikeouts. His improved performance can be correlated to the addition of offspeed pitches into his repertoire.

Utilizing him as a stop-gap if James Paxton needs more time to heal is a logical move, as he will likely be a featured player in the bullpen regardless.

New York Yankees might have found their 5th starter in the rotation

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

One of the highlights of the New York Yankees’ demolition of the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday was pitcher, Jonathan Loaisiga, who struck out four batters in two innings to seal the win. The 25-year-old has spent time as a starter with the Yankees’ but has struggled in that role in the past, but adding several off-speed pitches to his arsenal this offseason has given him the boost he needs to excel.

Due to the injuries to Luis Severino and James Paxton, the Yankees have found themselves in a position of supplementation, especially toward the end of the starting rotation. The $324 million spent on Gerrit Cole is proving to be quite significant right about now, but that doesn’t eliminate the problematic situation they’re inevitably in.

Loaisiga is one of several pitchers who have looked solid this Grapefruit League season, showing impressive accuracy and velocity on his fastball and an increased strikeout rate. While the conditions in sunny Florida aren’t comparable to the tainted weather in the Bronx, his success provides optimism that the Yankees might be okay moving forward.

“He’s coming in on the attack right now and seems to have a feel for his pitches,” Boone said. “You see that dynamic stuff. We’ll continue to stretch him out a little bit; what role it ends up being, it could be multiples. It’s just good to see him throwing the ball well and on the attack.”

The New York Yankees need to proceed with caution:

With injuries mounting in the starting unit and position player groupings, the Yankees should take the next few weeks easy. Shutting down Masahiro Tanaka, who has been stellar this pre-season, would be advisable. Loaisiga should earn another outing to remain consistent, but we’ve seen enough to develop a sense of optimism.

Last season, the third-year player posted a 4.55 ERA over 15 games. Not the best overall production but not bad either; the expectation is that his efficiency will increase in 2020 after a strong start to 2020. I expect to see more off-speed pitches mixed into his style, which aids his quest to become a regular starter.

New York Yankees: ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality Continues Through the 2020 Season

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees are yet again faced with the dilemma of the “next man up” mentality before the season has even started. Giancarlo Stanton is out indefinitely with a calf strain and may not be ready for opening day. James Paxton will miss three to four months and Luis Severino will miss the whole 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery.

Many can now say the Yankees are used to playing through and dealing with injuries, so this nothing new nor surprising at all. Luckily, there are players from last season that got playing time in the Major Leagues because of the absurd amount of injuries. They will have to step up and perform similarly to how they played last year.

Likely “Next Man Up” Players for the 2020 Season

Clint Frazier

This is the year for Frazier to finally prove that he belongs on a Major League roster. He had a nice stretch offensively when the outfielders started to go down with injuries early on in the season. His defense will be the question that defines his ability to stay on the roster. In a backup role to Miguel Andujar or Mike Tauchman, he provides power near the lower third of the lineup.

Mike Tauchman

The player who sparked the “next man up’ mentality, Tauchman, has a chance to split time with Andujar, Wade, and Frazier in left and backup Gardner in center. He was a brilliant surprise last year and is another example of Cashman working his magic, bringing in unforeseen talent. In just 87  games, Tauchman batted .277, hit 13 home runs, and flashed the leather in multiple outfield positions.

Tyler Wade

The Yankees new utility man, Tyler Wade, has become a very valuable player to the team. His ability to play multiple positions becomes more important when a starting outfielder goes down with an injury. He will need to backup Andujar or Frazier in left, backup Torres at short, and LeMahieu at second.

Jonathan Loaisiga

Loaisiga appeared mostly out of the bullpen in 2019 but has the stuff and velocity to become spot-starter or even the fifth pitcher in the rotation. He reached the upper 90s with his fastball and had a nice appearance against the Houston Astros in the postseason.   He and Jordan Montgomery are most likely going to round out the rotation to begin the year.

New York Yankees fans, keep your fingers crossed this is the last time we hear or say the word “injury” all season. Even if they do occur, the “next man up’ mentality worked for the Yankees last year and there is a high chance of success this year. They will have the same players filling those roles for the second year in a row. As long as the starters produce numbers like they did last year, the Yankees will still win plenty of games.

 

New York Yankees: How the starting pitching rotation will look after Luis Severino’s injury

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

With the news breaking that New York Yankees No. 2 starter Luis Severino will likely succumb to Tommy John surgery, manager Aaron Boone will need to find a replacement for him in the rotation.

James Paxton is already facing a lengthy recovery after having a cyst removed from his lower back, so losing two pitchers for significant time will force others to slot in at the end of the rotation. Thank goodness GM Brian Cashman retained J.A. Happ after all since his services will be heavily required in 2020.

However, Severino and Paxton’s injury gives multiple youngsters an opportunity as starting level pitchers. The return of Jordan Montgomery will prove to be significant, and his outing against the Pittsburg Pirates on Monday was exactly what the Yankees needed to see regarding their confidence in him.

Montgomery pitched 2.0 innings, striking out three batters and walking one. He allowed zero earned runs, finishing a quality night. I expect him to slot in as the No. 4 starter while Paxton recovers, and then move down to No. 5. While Monty didn’t feature much in 2019 due to injury, his first two seasons (2017-18) saw him toss two consecutive sub-4.00 ERA campaigns.

How will the New York Yankees supplement the No. 5 spot?

The Bombers don’t have a solidified No. 5 pitcher to take the reigns and handle the final spot in the rotation with consistency. I believe they will utilize a rotating system in the last slot, consisting of Michael King, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Jonathan Holder.

The 2020 season will be King’s rookie campaign, after pitching just several innings in 2019 at the major league level. He had some consistency issues in the minor league’s but is ready to be called up and tested. Loaisiga, on the other hand, finished 2019 with a 4.55 ERA, allowing six homers and logging 37 strikeouts. I expect him to take a step forward in the coming year after working on developing his off-speed pitches. He has added a solid changeup to his arsenal of mostly fastball variations, giving him that extra diversity to confuse batters.

Holder, though, shouldn’t be cast aside. While Holder posted a 6.31 ERA in 2019, he logged 46 strikeouts over 41.1 innings. His SO9 land at 10.0, which is quite impressive, indicating a solid whiff rate. His low 90s fastball isn’t anything to write home about, but he does feature a changeup, slider, cutter, and curveball. His cutter and fastball are his best pitches in terms of accuracy and velocity, but he has the offspeed mojo to get the job done.

Overall, I think the Yankees have the talent to survive the injuries sustained to the starting rotation, and hopefully, they can gain back Severino before the postseason hits later on in 2020.

New York Yankees young bullpen arm could get pulled into starting role

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

Injuries to both James Paxton and Luis Severino have complicated the New York Yankees’ starting pitching unit, as they will now have to fill two positions if the pair miss significant time.

Recent reports have indicated that Paxton could return as soon as May, despite a three-month recovery timetable that landed him in Judge. Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated that Paxton would begin throwing in the next few days, as his lower back has recovered nicely after having surgery to remove a cyst.

The New York Yankees plug in a youngster:

One of the younger bullpen arms currently projected to feature for the Bombers is Jonathan Loaisiga, who threw 14 pitches on Sunday.

“There is a chance for a spot in the rotation. If that happens, I have to do my job on the field,” said Loaisiga. The young pitcher missed time in 2014-15 while playing for the San Francisco Giants. He was claimed by the Yankees in 2016 but was limited to just one game that season. At 25 years old, he’s in an excellent place to reach his potential and leave a mark on the 2020 campaign.

What is Loaisiga doing to develop?

Loaisiga has already built his style around different fast-balls that produce high miss-rates. Still, he’s attempting to add more off-speed pitches to his arsenal — including a changeup and curveball, according to the New York Post.

“Something we talked about, adding another weapon,’’ said Loaisiga.

He managed to secure a strikeout on a changeup, giving him a little more confidence in his newly developed pitch.

“He threw some really good changeups,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “The strikeout on the changeup was a really good pitch. From the side, for a second, I thought it might have been a breaking ball [because] it had so much depth on it.’’

If Loaisiga can add the two off-speed pitches to his arsenal, it will make him a more complete pitcher. It’s possible he could be pulled up into a starting role with Severino and Paxton set to miss time. Hopefully, he can hold onto this unique opportunity.

Do the Yankees have a lowkey stud growing in their bullpen?

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

With the departure of Dellin Betances and the trading of Nestor Cortes Jr., the New York Yankees will be looking to supplement their losses with youth, so it seems. With Josh Hader likely off the table, the bullpen needs a bit more longevity if the Yankees are keen on replicating last year’s success.

The New York Yankees have one young pitcher they can rely on in the bullpen:

One of the lowkey pitchers that could leave their mark on the 2020 season is Jonathan Loaisiga. At 25-years-old, Loaisiga is preparing to pitch in his third season with the Yankees, and while he has featured in a starting role at times, his tenure with the Bombers seems to land him in the bullpen, where he pitched 31.2 innings with a 4.55 ERA in 2019 (four starts included).

However, despite Loaisiga’s struggles in the hit category (averaged a hit allowed every inning he pitched), he’s still developing his style. At just 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, the Nicaraguan’s frame does not give him an intimidating stance, but he still manages to put plenty of power behind his pitches.

Loaisiga averaged 96.8 mph on his fastball and 84.2 mph on his curveball last season, giving him reliable speed. His accuracy was the primary problem, which led to a high-contact rate for hitters and increased the probability of hits. His style, though, is similar to Betances’ — a blend of fastballs and curveballs. Loaisiga, through his fastball 47.7% of the time in 2019 and 30.8% with his curveball.

Relying on just two pitches makes him more effective in the bullpen, as hitters can quickly begin to decipher his tendencies after a few at-bats. It’s important to note that his four starts undoubtedly affected his ERA. As stated above, his dominant two pitches are easily understood by batters who can then take advantage. Utilizing Loaisiga in the bullpen is far more beneficial for the Yankees, who can use him situationally.

The Yankees are taking massive steps regarding their strength and conditioning programs, which should benefit Loaisiga, a player who has succumbed to injuries in the past. Increasing the overall health of the starting pitching rotation and bullpen should allow the young arm to earn more reps.

New York Yankees: Severino Impresses in Season Debut

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

Luis Severino, a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, shows his ace-like stuff in a win against the Los Angeles Angels, on Tuesday night.

Severino was activated off of the 60-day IL last weekend, after being sidelined with right rotator cuff and right lat injuries. He has not appeared in a game in 344 days, his last appearance came in Game 3 of the ALDS last year against the Red Sox (MLB.com).

His outing consisted of 4 innings of two-hit ball, on 67 pitches, and nine swings and misses. His repertoire consisted of 96.6 average MPH on 37 fastballs, 19 sliders, and 11 changeups (MLB.com). Severino, Loaisiga (winning pitcher), Gearrin, and Adams combined for a six-hit shutout. This gives the Yankees their 99th win of the season. Aaron Boone and the Yankees front office are making a smart move in easing Severino back into the rotation.

How Effective can Severino be in the Playoffs?

With 10 games left, Severino should be expected to make two more starts. Increasing his pitch count in each outing, he will ultimately be prepared for the postseason. He will be a big boost for a slowly improving rotation.

The ideal spot in the playoff rotation for Severino would most likely be to start game two. Paxton has been one of the best pitchers in the league for the past two months and should be rewarded with being on the bump in game 1 of the 2019 American League Divisional Series. Tanaka, with his experience and track record in the playoffs, should get the nod in game 3 on the road.

The Yankees look to achieve 100 wins on the year and clinch the division by the end of the series, with the magic number at just two. A World Series win would make a great headline, with all the injuries this team has endured. The baseball world is seeing similar signs of Yankees’ past World Series runs, like the ones in ’98 and ’09. Fans can only wait and see what this team brings to the table in the postseason.

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez receives positive injury news

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

This season, the New York Yankees have seen over 24 players on the injured list. That is almost an entire roster.

The fact that the Yankees are in first place by a large margin only attached to their strong will and discipline. A recent sweep of the Boston Red Sox shows their dominance and how they can weather any storm, including injuries.

Players seem to show up out of nowhere and contribute towards run production and defensive prowess, a tall task for alternatives that are being pulled up from the minor-league level on a daily occurrence.

One player of the Yankees have missed recently is catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a groin strain. The anticipation is that he will return sometime this week to take over for Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka.

Before being injured Gary Sanchez was hitting .229 with 43 runs, 24 home runs, and 58 RBIs. His offensive production fell off a bit after the All-Star break, but his home run totals have been fantastic and his defense has been much improved after a strenuous 2018 season.

In addition to Sanchez, multiple starting-caliber players are also dealing with injuries, but the Yankees will return several in August.

CC Sabathia, Giancarlo Stanton, Jonathan Loaisiga, David Hale, Luis Severino, and Edwin Encarnacion, I’ll have a chance to return by months end. Several could return early in September before a playoff appearance.

[su_posts template=”templates/teaser-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ order=”desc”]

The Yankees have struggled significantly with injuries this season, but they have stepped up to the plate and supplemented the loss of several key players. Options like Gio Urshela and Cameron Maybin have both played fantastic baseball in the absence of Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton.

The Yankees are currently eight games ahead of the Tampa Bay rays and 14.5 games ahead of the Red Sox. They are in the right place heading into the remainder of the season and will likely eclipse the 100 win mark once more. Gaining back several influential players before the postseason will give them the boost they need to make a run at the World Series.