AN UNSUNG YANKEE PITCHER ON THE RISE

Trenton Thunder's Jonathan Loaisiga in action against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Trenton, NJ, June 5, 2018.

Jonathan Loaisiga is putting together a 2018 campaign that will start to get him noticed by fans of the New York Yankees.

The number 13 prospect (soon to be number 12 once Gleyber Torres officially comes off the list), who is on the Yankees 40-man roster, is poised to become a household name in the Bronx.

Loaisiga was supposed to pitch Saturday, but had his start pushed back to Tuesday night in Trenton against Richmond, in the first of three games with the Flying Squirrels. He was once again dominant, as he has been at two levels this season.

The 5’11” righty went five innings of one hit ball, and struck out eight, to help the Thunder to an 8-1 victory. Loaisiga is now 3-0 with the Thunder, and 6-0 overall, with a 2.30 ERA.

More impressive is his strikeouts to walks ratio. Loaisiga has 54 punch-outs in 2018, while issuing just four bases on balls. He has walked more than one batter in just one of his nine starts in 2018: a no-decision against Harrisburg on May 3, won by Trenton 3-1. Going back to last season, Loaisiga has 87 strikeouts, and just seven walks, in 75.2 innings of work.

“I always try to focus on the strike zone,” Loaisiga said through Thunder defensive coach Raul Dominguez. “No matter if it is during a side. or any other work, I try to attack the strike zone, and throw strikes.”

The organization was impressed enough to place Loaisiga on the 40-man roster this past offseason, and he has done nothing but reward them for their extreme foresight.On Tuesday, Loaisiga pitched for the first time in nine days leading many to believe he was slated for a spot start versus the Orioles last Sunday. The eventual rainout pushed back Domingo German’s scheduled start, meaning the Yankees needed only two starters instead of three in two days time.

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