One of the more fun division races during the 2021 season to observe has been the AL East. The Boston Red Sox had the lead early, then the Rays surged ahead with the Yankees hot on their tails, particularly right after the trade deadline which saw the Yankees go on a crazy run.
Flashforward to the now and the Yankees find themselves 7.5 games back of the Rays and just a half game ahead of the Red Sox for the first wild card spot. Both the Red Sox and Rays are 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Yankees are just .500 over that same span.
For the Yankees to have any chance of catching the Rays, they were going to need to be at near full strength and holding off Boston in the wild card race doesn’t look like it is going to be a picnic, either. That makes the news today a bit troubling if you are a Yankees fan.
Huge loss for #Yankees: Loaisiga to IL with strained rotator cuff. Won’t throw for at least 10 days.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) September 5, 2021
Jonathan Loaisiga has been a revelation for the Yankees out of the bullpen as he has been, arguably, one of the better relievers in baseball with a 2.25 ERA, 2.59 FIP, and 2.2 fWAR for the 2021 season so far. That production has been one of the biggest reasons why the Yankees have had one of the best bullpens in baseball this season, so losing him for any amount of time could be a big deal.
To replace Loaisiga on the roster, the Yankees made a corresponding roster move to recall RHP Albert Abreu from Triple-A.