The New York Yankees have returned one of their most elite pitching weapons to the active roster.
They’ve also shucked one of their most annoying barnacles off the hull of their fast-moving ship…but not all the way off?
Sorry…what is happening?
We’d heard rumblings that Jonathan Loaisiga, an ace in the hole whose absence was very much felt while Chad Green stress-ate innings these past few weeks, would be activated for the Toronto series if all went well. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear much of anything as the series opened Tuesday night with a win.
So…was his shoulder ready, or was this just more false hope for the Bombers?
On Wednesday evening, the other, happier shoe dropped. Loaisiga is back in the bigs, and as a corresponding move, Andrew Heaney was…sent down and not cut? How?
The Yankees brought Jonathan Loaisiga back and dropped Andrew Heaney.
This is nice and everything, but…it kind of, sort of sounds like when you tell a kid his dog has just gone away to live at a farm upstate?
You’re telling me the Yankees were able to subtly bend the parameters of the modern day working relationship between MLB and the minor leagues just to keep Andrew Heaney with the organization for the season’s final five games? Rob Manfred signed off on a protocol-breaking transaction just so Heaney could work out in Tampa, technically controllable until a Wild Card roster must be named?
Also…didn’t Jameson Taillon re-aggravate his partial tendon tear yesterday? That sounded extremely bleak. He’s not ready for an IL stint, we guess, which resulted in this Heaney manipulation.
Regardless of the sketchiness of the circumstances, the correct active roster move was made here. As the season ticks down, the Yanks will get back their best reliever throughout the 2021 season. In 68 innings, Loaisiga has whiffed 66 batters with a 2.45 ERA and 1.029 WHIP, good for an ERA+ of 191. His FIP (2.59) reflects that his success has very much not been a mirage, and his astounding season has many thinking he might be a future Yankees closer.
Adding Loaisiga to the Yankees bullpen at the present moment will give everyone a breather, and brings another extremely successful arm to a ‘pen that suddenly isn’t grasping at straws. There’s a lot of star power here.
If Taillon needs to be shut down, Heaney could be back in the meaty middle of this ‘pen picture soon enough, apparently. Albert Abreu could return, too, if that’s not the direction New York wants to go in.
If Heaney returns, though, he’ll be the last man standing in a unit that suddenly includes three additional multi-inning weapons in Luis Severino, Michael King and (theoretically) Domingo German, and just got its best performer back.
Hard not to feel confident in the middle innings being covered, and Loaisiga further ensures against back-end burnout with Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman. If he comes back firing at full capacity, his three-week break might end up being the team’s savior instead of their downfall.