Yankees: Is Aaron Boone’s Jonathan Loaisiga update reason for optimism?


If the New York Yankees are going to go on an October run — or if they even plan on covering all nine innings of the Wild Card Game with effective arms — they’re going to need Jonathan Loaisiga.

Johnny Lasagna, who established himself as a future closer this year with electric stuff and the requisite poise, unfortunately succumbed to a shoulder issue in early September, as he has many times throughout his career.

Durability has always been a concern for Loaisiga, and the Yankees were forced to use him in more higher-leverage innings than they likely wanted to through August — plus, there was that COVID absence in mid-July that doubtlessly sapped his strength, too.

Therefore, when Loaisiga went down in early September, many Yankee fans swallowed hard, then wrote him off for the year. Were we a little hasty, though?

Out of nowhere, Aaron Boone told the media on Thursday prior to the Yanks’ series finale against Baltimore, that Loaisiga planned to start a throwing program on Friday, likely back at the stadium.

The manager believes the team’s best reliever will make it back before the end of the season. But do you believe it?

Yankees: Jonathan Loaisiga injury history

Without Loaisiga, the cupboard’s bare — heck, Aaron Boone even opted to use Aroldis Chapman three days in a row. Like, on purpose. The team’s been relying on Chad Green too often this year as it is, a phenomenon that’s only gotten worse over the past few weeks. Beyond those two, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes have been the only semi-trustworthy arms.

Of course, the reason for pessimism comes in Loaisiga’s injury history — as a San Francisco Giants farmhand, the righty missed both the 2014 and 2015 seasons with a shoulder issue. No matter how serious the issue is, you can’t help but remember his profile before he arrived in the Bronx.

Plus, there’s the cautionary tale of Luis Severino; Yankee fans don’t have to look far into the past to recall his back-to-back shuttered rehab appearances this summer. If you’re injury prone, injuries tend to manifest themselves.

Watching the sit-down with Boone, it’s also a lot easier to be pessimistic. The rapidity of Boone’s response regarding Loaisiga’s timeline sort of feels like fan service here, as well as a speedy way of cutting off the conversation.

So, will there be a rapidly-finished throwing program, or is this just another red herring in a season full of misleading assessments?

Depends on whether you trust Boone or not.