3. Jonathan Loaisiga
Sinker specialist Jonathan Loaisiga has looked much better lately — and “lately” is becoming a larger sample size by the day (1.82 ERA/1.04 WHIP in his past 30 games, though it’s a 1.56 WHIP in the past seven…).
That said … don’t you always feel a little better when he’s not the last line of defense? When there’s somebody behind him to pick up the slack if the movement’s too wicked and the bases are too clogged?
There can be no doubt that Loaisiga has “closer stuff,” as well as a bulldog mentality. But he also has a tendency to be flat and hittable if he enters and things aren’t working; Loaisiga’s outing against the Red Sox last summer is a rare instance of him self-correcting midstream.
Johnny Lasagna isn’t quite Aroldis Chapman when it comes to that particular trait, but you’ll usually know where a Loaisiga outing is going from the first batter. When located properly, his stuff is legitimately unhittable. When it leaks out over the plate after a few walks, trouble brews.
Loaisiga may still be the Mariano of the Future that was foretold last summer, but it’s far more likely he’s going to be a high-yield eighth inning guy as long as his electric arm (and shoulder) allow it. He’s going to get about half the closer reps this October, but that makes us a little skittish, even if it’s mostly gut feeling.