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Loaisiga's return gives Yanks' staff a boost

@BryanHoch
August 14, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Yankees continue to expect that Luis Severino and Dellin Betances will join the pitching staff for the postseason push, but manager Aaron Boone believes that Jonathan Loaisiga can play an important role as well. Loaisiga was activated from the 60-day injured list prior to Tuesday's game

NEW YORK -- The Yankees continue to expect that Luis Severino and Dellin Betances will join the pitching staff for the postseason push, but manager Aaron Boone believes that Jonathan Loaisiga can play an important role as well.

Loaisiga was activated from the 60-day injured list prior to Tuesday's game against the Orioles. He has not pitched in the Majors since May 8 due to a right shoulder strain, but Boone said that he envisions using Loaisiga as a multi-inning reliever out of the bullpen.

"I feel really good right now," Loaisiga said through a translator. "I feel 100 percent, and back to being healthy. I'm ready to pitch today. It doesn't matter if it's the bullpen or starting the game. I'm here to help."

Loaisiga's activation came as part of a flurry of roster moves that, at least for one night, left the Yankees with a two-man bench. With Gary Sanchez serving as the designated hitter, Brett Gardner and Mike Ford were the only reserves available for Boone.

New York also signed right-hander Adonis Rosa to a Major League contract and selected him to the 25-man roster from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and the club also designated left-hander Joe Mantiply for assignment and released left-hander Daniel Camarena.

Rosa made his Major League debut in Tuesday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, going two innings, allowing one run and striking out a pair.

In three Minor League rehab starts, Loaisiga allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out eight with a hit batsman. His most recent outing was 48 pitches, and Loaisiga estimated that he could throw about 65 pitches if needed.

"We've seen in some outings where he rides that pitch count up, being a little bit too fine," Boone said. "We feel like he has a chance to give us some meaningful innings out of the bullpen because his stuff can be so electric."

Slow going

The Yankees still have not provided an estimated return date for Giancarlo Stanton, who has been limited to nine games this season due to injuries, most recently a right PCL strain sustained on June 25. Boone said that Stanton has been running on an anti-gravity treadmill as he aims to resume on-field running.

"I think he's up to 75, 85 percent," Boone said. "Once he gets up to 90 percent, then it's time to hit the ground running, so he'll actually go outside and run. He's been doing some soft-toss, throwing, so I do feel like he's getting pretty close here."

General manager Brian Cashman has said that Stanton will not return before Sept. 1. Boone said that he continues to believe that Stanton will play again this season.

"Once he can get outside and run, then you start ramping up the defensive work and ramping up the volume as far as his cage work," Boone said. "He's getting there."

Comeback trail

Betances and Severino reported no issues after throwing from the bullpen mound on Monday. Severino is scheduled to throw from the bullpen mound again on Thursday, then could face hitters as soon as Sunday. Betances is thought to be one bullpen session behind Severino.

This date in Yankees history

Aug. 13, 2016: Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge became the first teammates to each homer in their Major League debut in the same game, going back to back in their first career plate appearances in the second inning of an 8-4 victory over the Rays at Yankee Stadium.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.