‘Johnny Lasagna’ could be the X-factor in Yankees’ rotation
Jonathan Loaisiga wasn’t even an afterthought of the Yankees before the 2018 season. The Yankees brought him on a minor league contract after a few brilliant but injury plagued years with the San Francisco Giants organization. Loaisiga always had the stuff but could never stay healthy.
Loaisiga was an important figure during the dog days of Summer for the Yankees. He went 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA before going back on the IL and then was designated to AAA. He comes into 2019 healthy and ready to contribute.
He may be contributing earlier than he thought, as the status of both Luis Severino and C.C. Sabathia are unknown. Severino looks to be headed to the IL after right shoulder inflammation scratched him from his Spring Training start. Sabathia also looks to be headed to the IL to start the season, and in addition to that has to serve a five game suspension stemming from a brawl last year with the Tampa Bay Rays.
In steps Loaisiga, a 24 year old young stud with three great pitches. The reason why Loaisiga hasn’t made major contributions in the Major Leagues is because of his injury history. Johnny Lasagna did not pitch in the 2014 or 2015 seasons due to injury and got Tommy John surgery in 2016. Although TJ is not a death sentence for pitchers any longer, it’s still a tough injury to come back from.
Loaisiga could be the difference in the beginning of the season without two of the Yankees’ five starters. If Loaisiga can stay healthy through the first month of the season, the Bombers can go through this tough stretch seamlessly. Loaisiga has some of the best stuff in the rotation, it’s all about health with him. If Johnny Lasagna can put it all together, it’s just another gem in Brian Cashman’s repertoire.
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