Of the current New York Yankees roster players, Jonathan Loaisiga has the best stuff. He will be entering his third big league season in 2020. His first two years were spent primarily as a reliever but the 25-year-old has started eight games in his career.
Loaisiga could be an option to fill in for Paxton, but with his seldom amount of starting experience, I doubt the Yankees would give him the full-time role. Even though Losiglia’s career ERA is 4.79, he does have an eye-popping 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings (SO/9).
Luis Cessa spent all of 2019 in the bullpen and had a career-best 4.11 ERA in 81 innings. He also had a career-best 8.3 SO/9. He has started 19 games in his four-year career but has found most of his success out of the bullpen.
It’s probably a good idea to keep him in a setup role. He became a better pitcher in 2019. The steady workload has made Cessa an overall better pitcher and a key part of the bridge to closer Aroldis Chapman.
Of course, there is always the possibility that the Yankees decide to use the “openers” again. It’s a trend that is gaining momentum in MLB. Chad Green did seem to thrive in that role last year. Then New York can have Loaisiga take over the Nestor Cortes Jr. middle innings role.