The Yankees expressed confidence in their young pitchers this spring when it became evident Luis Severino and CC Sabathia would open the season on the injured list and they didn’t rush out to sign a veteran starter.
Instead, general manager Brian Cashman decided to go with Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga in the rotation, with Luis Cessa also on the staff and only brought in Gio Gonzalez on a minor league deal late in the spring.
German rewarded that faith with a solid outing on Monday and Loaisiga is due to get his shot Wednesday against the Tigers.
“Last year he caught everyone’s attention as not a guy who was on the big-league radar yet, but leaped off the screen right away with his bullpens,’’ Aaron Boone said Tuesday of Loaisiga, who will be brought up once Sabathia is placed on the injured list after serving his five-game suspension stemming from hitting Tampa Bay’s Jesus Sucre with a pitch during a game in September.
“Coming up here and having a level of success for us had to have given him some confidence,’’ Boone said of Loaisiga, who pitched well in two of his first three starts in the majors last June before being sidelined with shoulder soreness. “He’s really talented. He has a chance to be a really good pitcher in this league.’’
Sabathia said after pitching in an extended spring training game Monday that he needed just one more outing before being able to get back to the Yankees and Boone agreed.
“He’ll likely join us in the middle of the month or just before,’’ Boone said.
Severino (rotator cuff inflammation) has not advanced beyond long-tossing and won’t return until early May at the earliest.
After saying he was “blindsided” by being demoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre just before the end of spring training after the Yankees acquired Mike Tauchman from Colorado to be the fourth outfielder, Tyler Wade said he moved on within a day after returning to Tampa.
“I used that frustration,’’ said Wade, who started at second base and went 1-for-3 with a stolen base in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Tigers, while Gleyber Torres moved to shortstop, as Troy Tulowitzki got a day off. “I know what I did well this offseason and spring. I didn’t know how long I’d be down for, but I didn’t think it would be for long.”
Wade played mostly shortstop and center field in extended spring training, but with DJ LeMahieu figuring to play third on a regular basis with Miguel Andujar out indefinitely with a torn labrum, Wade will likely play all over the infield.
DJ LeMahieu continued his torrid start with two more singles. He has reached base in 10-of-16 plate appearances.
Clint Frazier, who had the Yankees’ only RBI with a sacrifice fly, also got his first start of the season following a disappointing spring.
“He’s still a very young player, [who] missed significant time and had a disjointed season last year,’’ Boone said of the outfielder, who dealt with concussion symptoms for most of 2018. “There’s an element of him wanting to speed up the clock [to get back]. But he’s really talented. … He’s gonna play a lot. I think he knows he’s capable of performing at this level.’’
Boone said he expected Tulowitzki to play three out of four days starting Monday, so he likely will play Wednesday and Thursday. Gary
Sanchez was also not in the lineup for the first time this season. Boone pointed to consecutive afternoon games on Wednesday and Thursday that the catcher is likely to start.
Since Frazier started at DH, Luke Voit was at first, meaning lefty-swinging Greg Bird was on the bench against a right-hander. Boone said he was trying to build up players gradually, especially in the cold and Bird would probably start Wednesday against lefty Matthew Boyd.