Yankees Notes: Jonathan Loasiga’s spring debut set, Aaron Boone talks Opening Day 2024 starter

Here are the latest Yankees notes as spring training rolls on...

Jonathan Loaisiga's spring debut set

The Yankees are getting some bullpen help this week with the expected return of Loaisiga.

The right-hander is expected to make his spring debut on Thursday, per manager Aaron Boone. The Yankees skipper said he expects Loaisiga to pitch 1-2 innings depending on his efficiency.

Loaisiga, who ended last season on the injured list with a right elbow injury, is not injured but New York elected to take it slow with their reliever.

In 2023, the 29-year-old pitched to a 3.06 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP over 17 appearances.

Who will be the Yankees 2024 Opening Day starter?

The Yankees start the 2024 season with a three-game series in Houston to face off against the Astros. And with ace Gerrit Cole unavailable, Boone may know who will take the mound on March 28.

The Yankees skipper told the media, including The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner after Wednesday’s loss, that he’s “leaning a certain way” when it comes to who he will name as Opening Day starter but wasn’t ready to do so yet.

Boone said on the YES broadcast on Wednesday that Carlos Rodon is penciled in for the second game of the three-game series with the Astors to start the season so that leaves Marcus Stroman, Nestor Cortes, Clarke Schmidt or a currently unknown starter.

Some of those options include Will Warren and Luke Weaver

Feb 25, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

More roster moves

Following Wednesday’s game, the Yankees announced that RHP Duane Underwood Jr and INF Josh VanMeter were reassigned to minor league camp.

Underwood Jr., 29, made four spring training appearances this year and gave up one run over 4.1 innings of work. The right-hander made 20 appearances and closed out two games last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he pitched to a 5.18 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

VanMeter, 29,  struggled this spring after going 2-for-22 with a home run and two RBI. The infielder had a chance to earn a roster spot on the Yankees bench with the injury to Oswald Peraza, but the veteran will start the year in the minors.