2. Define Jonathan Loaisiga’s Role…in the Late Innings
So far, so extremely good for Jonathan Loaisiga, who Aaron Boone still insists will inhabit a “Swiss Army knife” role for the Yankees this season.
In two games, he’s pitched in two drastically different scenarios, holding serve in a tie game in the eighth inning of the opener before coming in directly after Corey Kluber departed in the fifth, plowing through two shutout innings.
No matter what, he’s looked another level of nasty, and we’d like to see him settle closer to the back end of the ‘pen before this season hits the stretch run.
This Yankees team had to battle through the first two games of the season without Aroldis Chapman (suspension) and Justin Wilson (dead arm), and won’t get Zack Britton back until midway through the season. Naturally, like a scared outfielder hoping the ball wouldn’t find him, both ended up being close games that taught us a bit more about the bullpen trust tree.
Here’s the secret, though: ultimately, Loaisiga probably has more swing-and-miss upside than Wilson, who typically pitches to contact and can be hittable when he struggles, since he lives in the zone anyway. By mid-May, would anyone be stunned if they trusted Loaisiga more than the veteran?
Hopefully, Boone is willing and able to make permanent changes to the way they use him.
So, who fills the Swiss Army knife role? Don’t worry. We’ve got a guy.