Yankees' Aaron Boone 'very encouraged' by Jonathan Loaisiga after another positive rehab step

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Jonathan Loaisiga pitching vs. Phillies
Jonathan Loaisiga pitching vs. Phillies

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was "very encouraged" by Jonathan Loaisiga taking another positive step in his rehab process, as he aims to return to the team by the end of the regular season.

Boone updated the situation on Tuesday, saying Loaisiga, who is dealing with a shoulder injury, played catch at 120 feet and that everything went swimmingly.

"Very encouraged. I haven’t talked to the trainers afterwards but watched most of his catch play and I though the looked really good," Boone said via Zoom. "Throwing free and easy. So another good step for him.”

When asked why he was encouraged after simply watching Loaisiga play catch, Boone got more specific.

"I think just seeing it come out free and easy. Doesn’t look like he’s favoring anything. There’s life on it without a lot of effort," he explained.

Loaisiga's next step will likely be some bullpen sessions and potentially facing live batters depending on what the Yanks believe he needs. Boone didn't give a definitive timeline on what will happen next.

Instead, trainers are going to have to let him know what's good or bad moving forward.

"We’ll see. That’s something that we’ll watch as we go. Obviously the trainers here will have a big role in that and deciding how many of those he needs, how sharp they are, or how he’s recovering from those," Boone said. "Because he wasn’t down very long, in theory, he doesn’t need too much. But hopefully he passes those and we do get him back before the regular season ends.”

With Luis Severino being activated for the first time this season and Domingo German also waiting in the wings, getting Loaisiga back would bring everything full circle for a team pushing for a Wild Card berth with just 11 games left to play. Unfortunately, that fact isn't helping Loaisiga.

But, while the Yanks may want one of their more reliable arms back in the bullpen, making sure he's 100 percent is the biggest priority.