TAMPA, Fla. — Ignore the four runs allowed, Austin Romine said.
The stuff from Jonathan Loaisiga Wednesday against the Cardinals was much better than the final line indicated.
“Fastball that moves, the hook, a changeup he can throw at any time,” said Romine, who caught the righthander in the Yankees’ 9-5 loss to the Cardinals at Steinbrenner Field. “It’s an easy 97 [mph]. A lot to like.”
The 5-11, 165-pound Loaisiga, whose smooth, at times effortless delivery consistently has drawn the praise of scouts, allowed three hits, two walks and struck out five. Two of the runs charged to him scored when he was out of the game.
Loaisiga was plucked from Double-A Trenton last June and pitched in nine games. In his four starts, he went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
The 24-year-old entered camp all but guaranteed to start the season in Triple-A but the injury to Luis Severino, who will miss the start of the season with right rotator cuff inflammation, means Loaisiga has a good chance to be in the rotation, especially with Aaron Boone saying CC Sabathia will “probably” start the season on the injured list. (Domingo German and Luis Cessa are in the mix, too).
“You can’t lose concentration,” Loaisiga said through his translator of his situation. “You never want to have an injury on the team and we’re going to miss Sevy the time he’s out, but to me, I have to pay attention to what I’m trying to do and what I’m trying to work on.”
General manager Brian Cashman said the club expects OF Jacoby Ellsbury to report to camp on March 16 or 17. Ellsbury missed all of last season and has been in Arizona rehabbing since camp started … Before the game, the Yankees made three moves involving righthanders. Domingo Acevedo was optioned to Double-A Trenton and Brady Lail and Trevor Stephan were reassigned to minor league camp … Boone said the Yankees on “certain occasions” would consider using an “opener” to start some games this season.