Yankees: Jonathan Loaisiga going on the IL is brutal for the bullpen

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: Jonathan Loaisiga #43 of the New York Yankees. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: Jonathan Loaisiga #43 of the New York Yankees. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

In a season that has seen the once-mighty New York Yankees bullpen struggle with consistency and quality in the ninth inning, one of the few players that has exceeded expectations has been right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga, who has accumulated numbers rivaling some of the best relievers in the American League.

Loaisiga, a Nicaraguan pitcher who came to the Yankees as a starter, has been everything the club could’ve hoped for out of the pen this season. Able to uncork blistering fastballs at 100 miles per hour and pitch for multiple innings in one appearance, Loaisiga has even been forced to close and nail down save situations.

If the Yankees make it to October and need someone to come out of the bullpen to get meaningful outs, Loaisiga may just be their first option. Unfortunately, because the Yankees have had been snakebitten by injuries all year long, Loaisiga might be on the shelf for the immediate future.

Before Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees placed Loaisiga on the 10-day IL with a strained rotator cuff. To fill his spot in the bullpen, former top prospect Albert Abreu was recalled from the minor leagues.

The Yankees will miss Jonathan Loaisiga in the bullpen.

Loaisiga has a 9-4 win-loss record this year with a 2.25 ERA and five saves. He is striking out just under a batter an inning, and his WHIP is barely over 1.00. According to FanGraphs, Loaisiga has been the most valuable reliever in the AL this year with 2.2 WAR. Brewers closer Josh Hader is tied with him for the MLB lead in fWAR.

According to Boone, Loaisiga will not throw for 10 days due to the nature of his injury. Loaisiga received a cortisone shot after he complained of soreness yesterday. At this rate, returning before the start of the postseason might not be a 100% certainty.

Aroldis Chapman remains very inconsistent this year, and Chad Green has had some lowlights in high-pressure situations. Green might be next in line to take on Loaisiga’s role as the fireman, but considering that No. 43 has been the better performer this season, this could impact the Yankees in the win column.

The Yankees might get a short-term fix from players like Abreu or the marvelous Luis Gil in the minor leagues, but this is a major punch in the gut no matter how you slice it. The bullpen has been one of the biggest sources of irritation this season, and their struggles might get more pronounced without Loaisiga.