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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Mariano Rivera gives ultimate compliment to Yankees reliever

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera offered an extremely high compliment for one current Yankees player.

Rivera joined Michael Kay in the booth on Friday night for YES Network’s telecast of the Yankees-Tampa Bay Rays game. During his appearance, Rivera was extremely complimentary of Yankees reliever Jonathan Loaisiga.

Rivera said that Loaisiga has an “electric” arm and that he sees a lot of himself in the reliever.

That is saying a lot.

Rivera was a unanimous Hall of Fame selection and the greatest reliever ever. He finished 11 seasons with a sub-2.00 ERA. He is the all-time leader in saves and games finished. Loaisiga is 26 and worked both as a reliever and starter the last three seasons. He has been solely a relief pitcher this year and has nine wins and a 2.22 ERA.

Loaisiga has averaged 98.2 mph on his fastball this season and also mixes in a changeup and curveball. Fangraphs has Loaisiga charted at throwing his fastball nearly 60 percent of the time and his offspeed stuff the other 40 percent. His repertoire is much different from Rivera, who threw his legendary cutter around 90 percent of the time.

They don’t have the same profiles as pitchers, but Loaisiga is starting to get some Rivera-like results.

Rivera also isn’t the first one to notice the similarities.

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