There were a couple moments in the past week when it seemed like Jonathan Loáisiga would be on his way back to the Yankees’ bullpen in just a little while. Shortly after Opening Day, he had been placed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation, but even after experiencing soreness last Wednesday and getting shut down from throwing, an MRI over the weekend revealed “nothing structurally alarming.”
The Yankees wanted to have a doctor to check Loáisiga out today anyway though, and while his elbow doesn’t need Tommy John surgery or anything like that, he does need to undergo a procedure on his elbow to remove a bone chip. According to manager Aaron Boone, they do not expect to have him back until August at the earliest:
Correction: just one bone spur for Loaisiga. Boone says they’re looking at an August/September return. https://t.co/NISvn5mv8r— Justin Shackil (@JustinShackil) May 1, 2023
Loáisiga was the team’s best reliever in 2021 and after a shaky first half in 2022, he was arguably the top bullpen arm down the stretch with a 1.76 ERA, 2.75 FIP, and no homers allowed from mid-July onward.
This is yet another tough blow to a Yankees ballclub that unfortunately has to expect these injuries at this point, particularly considering how many players on their roster have histories that don’t exactly lend themselves to a clean bill of health. In the bullpen alone, New York is now missing:
- Loáisiga (bone spur surgery; won’t return until at least August)
- Tommy Kahnle (biceps tendinitis; won’t return until at least June)
- Lou Trivino (
right elbow strainTommy John surgery; out for 2023)
- Scott Effross (Tommy John surgery; likely out for all of 2023)
That’s to say nothing of Luis Severino, Carlos Rodón, Frankie Montas, and former top pitching prospect Luis Gil, who would all be at least vaguely in the starting rotation mix during normal times.
As far as the team as a whole goes, the Yankees have most effectively weathered the injury storm in the bullpen. Pitching coach Matt Blake and company have done excellent work down there getting contributions from surprises like Jimmy Cordero and Ian Hamilton in addition to steady-to-great work from standbys Michael King, Wandy Peralta, and Ron Marinaccio. They’ll have to just keep it going in the meantime and hope that Kahnle at the very least can have a smooth recovery back to The Show.