Yankees demote top pitching prospect Jonathan Loaisiga


Following their 6-3 loss on Tuesday night to the Astros, the Yankees optioned top pitching prospect Jonathan Loaisiga back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

With C.C. Sabathia expected to rejoin the big league rotation this weekend, Yankees overall No. 2 prospect Jonathan Loaisiga needed a dominant performance against the Astros if he wanted to stick around the 25-man roster.

Unfortunately, the 24-year-old right-hander allowed four runs on four hits and two walks in only three innings of work before getting the hook.

In his two starts this season, Loaisiga compiled a 3.86 ERA, 1.429 WHIP and a 9:5 K:BB ratio in just seven innings pitched. In all fairness, even if Loaisiga were perfect, Sabathia would have likely bumped him to the bullpen.

Even more so, Gio Gonzalez’s recent outing for the Railriders was ultra impressive, as he went six innings, allowing only three hits (all singles), no runs, one walk and struck out 10 across 89 pitches.

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With an April 20 opt-out looming in his minor league deal, I’d be surprised if the Yankees didn’t promote him within the next few days. There aren’t many pitchers with Gonzalez’s pedigree that can be had for $3 million, plus a $300k bonus per start.

Besides, with Luis Severino shut down for the next six weeks due to a Grade 2 lat strain, Gonzalez could become a necessary rotation piece should Sabathia or Domingo German falter.

Taking Loaisiga’s place on the big league roster is 27-year-old reliever, Joe Harvey. Thus far, Harvey has appeared in two games for the Triple-A Railriders, throwing 2.1 innings of scoreless ball and picking up a save.

The University of Pittsburgh product, Harvey was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 2014 draft. Splitting his time between Trenton and Scranton in 2018, Harvey went 3-2 with a 1.67 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, .165 BAA and 68:25 K:BB ratio in 59.1 innings.

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He also went 11-for-14 in save opportunities. Following a very productive campaign, Harvey was added to the 40-man roster this past offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. This will be Harvey’s first ever big league call up.