Yankees’ Deivi Garcia could be secret weapon in shortened season

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

One byproduct of a 60-game regular season for the MLB is that the active roster will be expanded from 26 to 30 players. The New York Yankees will be looking to fill out the final four spots on the roster to help mitigate fatigue in a condensed schedule. There are plenty of options that represent great talent and can supplement injuries and rotate to give top players the rest they need during the hot summer months.

One Yankee that could be a secret weapon in the shortened campaign is Deivi Garcia, the team’s top pitching prospect. He joined the ranks as one of the best young talents in baseball in 2019, as he progressed through the Yankees’ farm system at an astronomical rate.

The consensus was that he would end up in the Bronx at some point in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic has completely shut down the minor-league seasons and limited his development as a result. Garcia would have benefited from a large sample size of games, giving him an even better chance of making the top team at some point this year. However, the extra spots on the roster could land him an opportunity in a bullpen role, and given his starting abilities, utilizing him for one or two innings could be an efficient move by the Yankees.

Manager Aaron Boone was excited about García earlier on this year before spring training was interrupted. He received the Kevin Lawn award as the Yankees’ top minor league pitcher of the year.

“You see why we’re excited about him, his ability to spin the ball’’ and his progression through the club’s system “at a very young age.’’

At just 21 years old, he has amazing potential and is expected to climb the ranks and eventually cement himself in the starting rotation. While he will have to wait a bit longer due to the change in schedule, he’s in prime position to steal some live reps in 2021 with three starting pitchers entering the free-agent portal.

“There’s so many guys that you can really dream upon, you can really picture having a really good big-league career,’’ Boone said in late February. “And Deivi (pronounced DAVEY) certainly falls into that category.’’

New York Yankees: Yankees set 60 man summer camp roster, Aroldis Chapman and more

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Yankees set 60 man summer camp roster

The New York Yankees had until 4:00 pm Sunday to set their 60 man summer camp roster.  The roster will include all 39 players on their 40-man roster, plus 19 extras, including infielder Matt Duffy, who signed a minor-league contract with the club earlier on Sunday.  The Yankees used 58 of their available spots.

The Yankees players will report to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx for spring training 2.0 or more properly called summer camp on Wednesday, July 1 for orientation, mostly to familiarize the players with the health protocols. Training will start on Friday, July 3rd, for an abbreviated 60 game season that will feature an expanded postseason.

The New York Yankees’ first game of the season will be at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C… It will be a prime time blockbuster event to kick off the season.  As presently planned Yankees new ace pitcher Gerrit Cole will face three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

Among the prospects included on the 60-man roster are pitchers Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Clarke Schmidt, Michael King, Alexander Vizcaino, and Luis Medina, infielder Kyle Holder, Rosell Herrera, and outfielder Estevan Florial.  After Yankee Manager Aaron Boone evaluates his players he will have to cut down the roster to 30 players by the time the season starts on July 23rd.  He will be able to keep 30 men on the roster for the first two weeks, for the second two weeks that will reduce to 28 for the following two weeks and then return to the normal 26 for the remainder of the shortened season.

To break down the roster, the Yankees will have at the start 33 pitchers, starters and relievers, 6 catchers including recently acquired Max McDowell.  They will have 10 infielders, including newly signed Matt Duffy. In the outfield, they will have the first spring training star Rosell Herrera who had the most hits in Florida camp along with 8 other Yankees.

Is Aroldis Chapman having a mid-life crisis?

A couple of months ago, Aroldis Chapman, the New York Yankees closer, walked into a south Florida car dealer that specializes in custom cars.  Chapman wanted something unique, and that’s what he got.

The 32-year-old flamethrowing Chapman,  who’s been bulking up for the 2020 season, is expected in New York this week as the Yankees report for a second spring training Wednesday. This year he will be arriving in a new custom three-axle black Kevlar coated Jeep, with red fabric interior.  The jeep will also feature the logo “The Cuban Missle” on the exterior as well as on the center or the steering wheel of his new $150,000 ride.

What does a 60 game shortened season hold for the Yankees?

For the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams, they will see 1,800 players report to summer camp on Wednesday in preparation for a beat-up, bruised baseball season that will have only 60 games.  The other 102 games were spent by a war between the owners and players.  How this effects play, no one knows.

For New York Yankee fans, they will finally get to see some baseball, and will with great interest get to see their new pitching ace Gerrit Cole pitch in the season opener against the Nationals Max Scherzer in Washington D.C. One of the biggest questions the Yankees will have is if slugger Aaron Judge will be well enough to play in the opener.  The general consensus is that he will not be ready.  Summer camp will be telling as the Yankees star is still healing from a rib fracture that has been very slow to heal.  As of the last mention hitting coach, Marcus Thames indicated that Judge had not swung a bat.  For the past month, the Yankees have been mum on Judge’s rehab.

Because of the short season, predictions are difficult as anything can happen.  Some sources say that we, as fans, should not expect the Yankee offense to be as potent as last season.  Also, in the short season, the Yankees pitchers will not be stretched out to go deep into the game, and they will heavily depend on the excellent Yankee bullpen.

Manager Aaron Boone will not have to worry about tiring out the bullpen with the short season.  He will pretty much be able to use the bullpen as he wishes.  The Yankees are still favorites to get to the postseason, but again anything can happen.  If they get off to a slow start, that will not bode well.  Any team that has poor play for a prolonged time will most likely not get to the postseason.

The elephant in the room is the COVID-19 virus that could shut things down at any moment.  Many players coming to camp are coming from areas where the virus is raging, such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California.  Yankee players will follow strict health guidelines that were outlined in Commissioner Rob Manfred’s 101-page operations manual.  In attempts to keep an outbreak of the virus from happening, every Yankee player and personnel will undergo two temperature checks each day.

Rather than a marathon, this will be sprint this year.  Each game will take on more importance and will be played with the intensity of the postseason.  Further details on the season and the postseason are expected to be released shortly.

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