A little over a week after the start of the season, the New York Yankees were forced to place relief pitcher Jonathan Loáisiga on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to April 6, with right elbow inflammation.
The silver lining was that studies and tests showed no structural damage on Loaisiga’s elbow: just inflammation.
That virtually ruled out a long-term absence.
On Friday, the Yankees had some good news to share regarding his health.
“Injury update: Jonathan Loaisiga is throwing on flat ground in the Yankee Stadium outfield,” insider Bryan Hoch tweeted.
Injury update: Jonathan Loaisiga is throwing on flat ground in the Yankee Stadium outfield.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 21, 2023
Throwing on flat ground is just the first step in a pitcher’s throwing program and rehab.
He will have to complete multiple bullpens, face hitters in live batting practice, and then go out on a rehab assignment.
That process will take at least a few weeks.
Still, the fact he is back throwing is indication that he feels 100 percent or close to it.
Loaisiga is one of the most important relievers in the Yankees’ bullpen.
He broke out in 2021 with a brilliant 2.17 ERA, and while the number went up to 4.13 last year, it was mainly due to a problematic shoulder injury.
He had a 2.70 ERA in 3.1 frames in the 2023 campaign, until he suffered the elbow ailment.
The Yankees, who are currently without Scott Effross, Lou Trivino, and other relievers, need Loaisiga to get healthy and take his customary role as one of the setup men in one of the deepest bullpens in the league.
By the look of things, he should be back at some point in May if everything goes well.NEXT: Fans React To Today's Josh Donaldson News