Jonathan Loáisiga will make his second MLB start Wednesday night in the Bronx as the Yankees take on Félix Hernández and the Seattle Mariners in the second game of a three-game set.
Johnny Lasagna, as the Internet calls him (which he approves of, by the way), impressed many with his five scoreless innings in his first start. Loáisiga showed great poise as he struck out six, walked four and allowed three hits in his first five innings above Double-A ball. He managed to equal his MiLB walk total in one start, though that can easily be attributed to MLB-debut jitters and more disciplined MLB hitters.
Facing the Yankees and Loáisiga will be Félix Hernández, Gleyber Torres‘ workout partner and the “pitcher that [he] … would like the opportunity to face him and have some fun” against. The Venezuelan has certainly fallen from the “King Félix” that won the Cy Young Award in 2010. Through six starts this season, Hernández has an unsightly 5.34 ERA and has already allowed 12 home runs. The most he’s ever given up in a season was 23 in 2006 and 2015. He lost his last time out against Boston, allowing just two runs over seven innings. Before that, he lasted just three innings against Tampa Bay allowing six runs (five earned). The Yankees look to make it three straight losses against an American League East club.
Brett Gardner is out of the lineup yet again with a sore right knee, though Gardner did tell reporters he expected to start Wednesday and that he would go through his full pre-game routine. Clint Frazier gets his second consecutive start in left field. Aaron Hicks remains the leadoff hitter against a righty, though his usual job is to leadoff against lefties. Gleyber Torres might just be permanently living in the No. 5 spot until the likes of Gary Sánchez (hitting 6th) and Greg Bird (hitting 7th) show some life.
Some other notes floating around before this middle game against Seattle:
- Aaron Boone provided a nice non-update about Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s had approximately four different injuries since the end of Spring Training. “I think he’s getting close to getting back into baseball activities. But he’s doing pretty well and progressing,” Boone told Randy Miller of NJ Advanced Media on Wednesday. He visited a back specialist and got a good diagnosis, but the Yankees have no place for him realistically until the September 1 roster expansion date.
- Both Frazier and Ronald Torreyes have had fantastic attitudes regarding their recent MiLB demotions that were dictated by need at the MLB level. Both players bring MLB-ready talent to the table, but it just depends on who the Yankees need to round out their bench. Frazier was recalled with Gardner’s knee issues, and Torreyes took his demotion in stride: “[Torreyes] wanted to know where Scranton was right away so he could get going. I told him I want him back here sooner than later,” per Boone. The Yankees manager similarly had praised Frazier for continuing to hone his craft at Triple-A: “One of the conversations I’ve had with him, both times I sent him back, is, ‘Keep on working, keep on getting better, taking your craft seriously every day,'” Boone said. “I think he’s done a really good job of that. He’s gone back down each time and played really well and produced and all the reports are what you want to hear. So it’s not a player going down there and frustrating and sulking and that kind of stuff. That gets me excited.”
- Dee Gordon – 2B
- Jean Segura – SS
- Mitch Haniger – CF
- Nelson Cruz – DH
- Kyle Seager – 3B
- Denard Span – LF
- Ryon Healy – 1B
- Ben Gamel – RF
- Mike Zunino – C