BALTIMORE — The Yankees' most consistent — and best — bullpen arm in 2021 is making progress.
Aaron Boone said Thursday afternoon that Jonathan Loaisiga is "in line" to start a throwing program Friday.
Loaisiga, 9-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 54 games this season, was placed on the injured list Sept. 5 with a right shoulder strain. At the time, Boone said he would be shut down "for at least 10 days."
The question now is how long it might take Loaisiga to be declared game-ready. Can he make it back before the end of the regular season?
"I hope so,'' Boone said. "But again, we'll see how he does with starting his throwing program, and then how he progresses from there and how his shoulder and everything responds [to] that. So yeah, I'm hopeful, but we'll just have to see how it plays out."
Boone wanted to give DJ LeMahieu a day off during this 20-games-in-20-days stretch, and he didn't play in Thursday's 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Orioles.
LeMahieu, who won the MLB batting title last season with a .364 average after hitting .327 in his first season with the Yankees in 2019, has never really gotten it going this year. He has a .268 batting average and a .713 OPS.
"By and large, I feel the at-bat quality’s been there," Boone said. "I think last year, in the shortened season, he found more holes. There's been a number of balls, almost night in, night out, where he hits a ball sharply where they maybe have him played perfectly or it just doesn't get through. So he just hasn't put together that .330-type year, but I feel like he's been steady. And probably a little bit of tough luck."
The Yankees said Luis Severino, who hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in February 2020, will throw two simulated innings Friday.