The Yankees will promote right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga from Double-A to make a spot start later this week, manager Aaron Boone announced Tuesday (link via ESPN’s Coley Harvey). He’ll get the ball Friday in place of the injured Masahiro Tanaka. Domingo German will start Thursday for the Yankees, with Luis Severino going Saturday, per the report.
It’s not yet clear if the Nicaraguan-born Loaisiga will get anything more than a one-off look in the rotation, but because he’s already on the 40-man roster and has thrown well so far in 2018, he’ll get the call over more name-brand prospects like Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams. In 45 innings between Class-A Advanced and Double-A, Loaisiga boasts a 3.00 ERA with an electric 58-to-4 K/BB ratio and above-average ground-ball tendencies.
This will be the first taste of the big leagues for the 23-year-old Loaisiga, who ranks 12th among Yankee farmhands per Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com and per Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs. The two scouting reports offer a similar take on his three-pitch arsenal: a fastball that sits 94-96 mph, an above-average to plus curveball and the potential for an average changeup.
The 5’11”, 165-pound Loaisiga’s size and injury history — he missed the 2014-15 seasons due to injury and had Tommy John surgery in 2016 — create some concerns that he’ll be forced into a bullpen role over the long haul. However, given that Loaisiga was picked off the scrap heap by the Yankees after being released by the Giants as a 21-year-old following those lost 2014-15 seasons, the very fact that he’s emerged as any type of prospect is already a bonus for the team and a testament to the right-hander’s raw ability and perseverance.