The New York Yankees have suffered a significant loss as they look to secure one of the two American League wild card spots. Ace setup man Jonathan Loaisiga was placed on the 10-day injured list with a rotator cuff strain, the team announced Sunday morning. He received a cortisone shot and will not throw for at least 10 days.
"It's a big loss for us," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, stating the obvious.
Shoulder trouble is always a concern and Loáisiga has a history of arm problems. He missed time with shoulder issues in 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019, and also had Tommy John surgery in 2016. He's spent time on the injured list every year since 2016.
Loáisiga, 26, came into his own as a reliever this season after spending the last three years as a spot starter/swingman type. He had a 2.25 ERA with a stellar 61.3 percent ground ball rate in 68 innings, and often works multiple innings in tight games. Loaisiga leads all relievers in FanGraphs WAR (2.2) and is second in Baseball Reference WAR (2.8).
The Yankees are also without Zack Britton, . His ulnar collateral ligament will be examined at that time and he could require Tommy John surgery. Britton allowed 14 runs in 18 1/3 innings around his elbow woes and a hamstring injury this season.
With Loáisiga and Britton sidelined, the Yankees will lean on stalwart Chad Green as Aroldis Chapman's primary setup man, though those two have struggled in recent weeks. Green has allowed 11 home runs in 69 innings and Chapman is in the middle of a three-month slog that has seen him allow 19 runs in his last 23 innings dating back to mid-June.
Lefty Wandy Peralta and righty Clay Holmes have combined for a 3.00 ERA in 45 innings since coming over in minor midseason trades with the Giants and Pirates, respectively. They figure to take on more high leverage innings with Loáisiga and Britton on the injured list. Youngster Albert Abreu could as well.
The regular season ends four weeks from Sunday and since Loáisiga will not throw for at least 10 days, he will not return once his minimum 10 days on the injured list are up. Best-case scenario looks like the Yankees welcoming Loáisiga back without about two weeks to go in the regular season.