Yankees counting on Jonathan Loaisiga’s talent but fan base skeptical

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Following Michael King’s trade, the Yankees are confronted with a void in their bullpen. The task of filling his versatile “Swiss Army Knife” role poses challenges, but pitching coach Matt Blake is considering alternatives, with an interesting twist involving Jonathan Loáisiga.

While injuries have marked Jonathan Loaisiga’s career, his undeniable talent presents an intriguing option. Blake envisions a potential transition for him into a role similar to King’s, where he can pitch multiple innings, providing length and stability.

This wouldn’t be unfamiliar territory for the 29-year-old. In 2021, he pitched at least two innings in 10 games, achieving career highs in appearances and innings pitched. Jonathan Loaisiga even experimented as a starter earlier in his career.

Yankees pitcher Jonathan celebrates victory over the White Sox with catcher Kyle Higashioka on August 8, 2023, in Chicago.
Twitter-NYY

However, concerns linger. Jonathan Loaisiga hasn’t surpassed two innings since September 2022, and his overall workload has been constrained by injuries. Over the past two seasons, he hasn’t thrown even 30 pitches in a game.

In September, Aaron Boone mentioned Jonathan Loaisiga’s seasons, noting that they have consistently faced interruptions. Boone praised Loáisiga, stating that when he is performing well, he is exceptional due to his efficiency, great stuff, and ability to retire both left- and right-handed hitters. Boone highlighted Jonathan Loaisiga’s versatility, expressing that he can go for more than one inning and fill various roles, including closing out a game or handling crucial situations. According to Boone, when the pitcher is in top form, there may not be many better pitchers in the league.

Is Jonathan Loaisiga the perfect replacement for King? Not necessarily. However, the Yankees are exploring inventive solutions to harness his talent while safeguarding his health. Similar to how they managed King’s workload in 2023, imposing restrictions could be pivotal.

Other candidates for the multi-inning role include emerging starters like Yoendrys Gomez, Luis Gil, and Clayton Beeter. Moreover, pitchers such as Luke Weaver, Cody Morris, and Cody Poteet could seamlessly transition between starting and relief duties. Ian Hamilton, a breakout reliever last season, is also considered a potential option for longer outings.

jonathan loaisiga of yankees
AP

The Yankees haven’t reached a definitive decision yet. They are actively exploring various avenues, with Jonathan Loaisiga’s potential transformation offering a captivating, albeit risky, prospect. Whether he embraces the challenge or the team pursues an alternative solution, one thing remains evident: securing a multi-inning weapon is pivotal for fortifying their bullpen in the upcoming 2024 season.

Yankees pin hope on Jonathan Loaisiga but fans aren’t convinced

Fresh from the disappointment of missing the playoffs in 2023, the New York Yankees are resolute in their quest to reclaim championship glory. While the acquisition of Juan Soto and Trent Grisham was a significant offseason move, it came at the cost of sending ace Michael King to San Diego. Now, the Yankees are considering Jonathan Loaisiga as a potential replacement, a decision that has stirred skepticism among fans.

King’s versatility as a starter and multi-inning reliever made him a vital asset, leaving a substantial void to fill. Yankees insider Gary Phillips identified Jonathan Loaisiga as a potential solution, but this news was met with a wave of pessimism from fans on social media.

The source of their concerns lies in Jonathan Loaisiga’s injury history. Fans point to his struggles to stay healthy even in single-inning outings, expressing fears that an increased workload could exacerbate the issue. Some have even injected humor into their skepticism, questioning if he can remain on the field, let alone pitch multiple innings.

However, with the relief pitcher market offering limited options, the Yankees may be facing constraints. Veteran targets like Wandy Peralta (now with San Diego) and Hector Neris (signed with Chicago) are no longer available.

So, is Jonathan Loaisiga the solution? While he undeniably possesses talent, the lingering question about his ability to stay healthy remains. The Yankees are actively exploring their alternatives, and Jonathan Loaisiga’s potential, though accompanied by risks, may provide a viable solution. Whether he rises to the occasion or the search continues, one thing is evident: securing a multi-inning weapon is imperative for the Yankees as they aim for success in the 2024 season.

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