Aaron Boone is not ruling out Jonathan Loáisiga’s return.
The reliever will throw on Friday, the first time he’s done so since being placed on the injured list on Sept. 5. Loáisiga has been recovering from a right shoulder strain. He last pitched on Sept. 3 against Baltimore.
The Yankees only have 16 games remaining in their regular season, including Thursday’s matchup against the Orioles. However, Boone still hopes that Loáisiga can return to the Yankees before season’s end.
“We’ll see how he does with starting his throwing program and then how he progresses from there and how his shoulder and everything responds from that,” Boone said. “I’m hopeful, but we’ll just have to see how it plays out.”
Getting Loáisiga back would provide a huge boost to the Yankees’ bullpen down the stretch and, possibly, in October.
The 26-year-old, after flashing his potential over his first three big league campaigns, put it all together this year. Loáisiga was one of MLB’s most dominant relievers before getting hurt, recording a 2.25 ERA in 54 appearances. Even after being out several weeks, the right-hander still has the highest fWAR (2.3) of any reliever in the sport.
The Yankees have missed Loáisiga, as Boone has often had to overuse his other top relievers or call on less reliable ones in big spots. Among Yankees relievers, Loáisiga is still third in games, batters faced (273) and game-entering leverage index (1.82). He is second in innings pitched (68).
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