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Yankees place Jonathan Loaisiga on 10-day injured list with strained rotator cuff

The Yankees are placing righty Jonathan Loaisiga on the IL with a right shoulder strain, per a team announcement. Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, that the strain is in Loaisiga’s rotator cuff and he won’t throw for at least 10 days. (Twitter links) Fellow right-handed Albert Abreu has been recalled to take Loaisiga’s place on the roster.

This is very unfortunate news for both Loaisiga and the team, as the righty is having the best season of his career so far and has been one of the most valuable pitchers on the team. Through 68 innings out of the Yankees’ bullpen this year, he has an ERA of 2.25. His 24.2% strikeout rate is actually close to league average, but his 5.5% walk rate and 61.3% groundball rate are both excellent. On the season, he’s been worth 2.2 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs, third-most among Yankees pitchers, behind Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery, and tied with Josh Hader for the most among all relievers in baseball.

It’s unclear exactly how much time he will miss, but with less than a month left in the season, there’s not a lot of wiggle room remaining. If he is to miss “at least” 10 days, that means the best-case scenario would see him start throwing again September 15th. At that point, he would presumably have to throw a bullpen or two to assess his health and perhaps go on a rehab assignment before returning to the big-league club.

The Yankees are 7 1/2 games behind the Rays in the AL East but are currently holding the first AL Wild Card spot, half a game ahead of the Red Sox and 4 1/2 ahead of the Athletics and Mariners.