Late last night, the Yankees announced that they optioned Jonathan Loaisiga to Triple-A. He didn’t have a disastrous start against the Astros, but the team needed a fresh bullpen arm. They got exactly that today, as New York confirmed the promotion of Joe Harvey.
Loaisiga, 24, made two starts with the Bombers this month. He pitched seven innings total, allowing three earned runs in the process. He walked five batters and struck out nine. That’s not terrible in a single start, but Loaisiga failed to give the team any length. Given how taxed the bullpen is, and the imminent return of CC Sabathia, the Yankees found it best to use the roster spot on a fresh reliever.
Harvey, 27, got the call. The right-hander mostly flew under the radar since the Yankees drafted him out of the 19th round back in 2014. The club added Harvey to the 40-man roster over the offseason to prevent him from going in the Rule 5 Draft, a move that surprised many.
The Yankees had Harvey spend most of his 2018 season pitching for the Triple-A RailRiders. He posted a 1.66 ERA (2.49 FIP) with a 10.10 K/9 rate. He walked a few too many batters (3.48 BB/9), but otherwise had a successful campaign.
This appears to be strictly a placeholder move. The Yankees will give a few overworked relievers a breather and then use the roster spot for Sabathia. It may not seem exciting, but it’s necessary.