1. Jonathan Loaisiga
Yes, this brings us to the eternally captivating Jonathan Loaisiga, who usually attains that title for all the wrong reasons.
Durability aside, how is this guy possibly not a dominant late-inning Swiss Army Knife yet?Employing a fastball, sinker, curve and change, Lo has always been stretched back and forth, from starter to reliever to late-and-close, go-get-em arm. It’s never entirely clicked.
In 2020, Loaisiga posted a 3.52 ERA and 123 ERA+, his first above-average full-season marks in three tries. When it came time for high-leverage postseason outings, however, the righty couldn’t hack it in either the Wild Card Series in Cleveland (which he nearly blew before DJ LeMahieu saved him) and the ALDS in San Diego.
Loaisiga’s stuff plays all the way up in the bullpen, but there’s a cavernous hole that must be crossed between “effective sixth innings” and end-of-game steadiness. With Britton out, it’s possible Loaisiga has the best pitch mix of anyone who isn’t in the upper echelon of the trust tree.
He’ll have three months or so to prove he belongs.