Yanks call on Loaisiga for spot-start debut

Nicaragua native has 58 strikeouts and four walks in 45 frames

Jonathan Loaisiga is 15-3 with 133 strikeouts and 24 walks in 148 2/3 career Minor League innings. (David Monseur/MiLB.com)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | June 12, 2018 6:00 PM

Three years ago, Jonathan Loaisiga was out of affiliated baseball. The Giants released him after injuries held him to 13 starts in two-plus seasons. Eight months later, the Yankees took a chance.

Now, he's going to be a Major Leaguer. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters that New York is calling up its No. 12 prospect to make a spot start in place of Masahiro Tanaka on Friday against the Rays.

After making one start with Class A Charleston in 2016, Loaisiga underwent Tommy John surgery. But the Yankees stuck with him and the Nicaragua native was back on the mound on June 26, 2017. Loaisiga showed no signs of rust either, posting a 1.38 ERA with 33 strikeouts and three walks in 32 2/3 innings across 11 starts in Rookie and short-season ball last season.

Video: Loaisiga finishes on a high note for Trenton

Loaisiga came out firing this season, not allowing a run through his first 11 frames with Class A Advanced Tampa. Featuring an above-average fastball, the 23-year-old has been extremely consistent even as he made the jump to Double-A Trenton. Across the two levels, Loaisiga allowed a run or fewer over exactly five innings in six of his 10 starts this season. That includes three straight starts in which he allowed a run on six hits in five frames.

There have been a couple speed bumps, though -- the right-hander has yielded four runs in two of his last three starts for the Thunder. In total, Loaisiga is 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 58 strikeouts and four walks in 45 innings this season.

Loaisiga will be the 15th Nicaragua native to play in the Major Leagues and first with the Yankees.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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