New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from Yankees loss to the Blue Jays

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia
Mar 14, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia (83) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees were at home at George M. Steinbrenner Field yesterday, facing the Toronto Blue Jays that many writers feel will be the Yankees’ most competitive opponent in the regular season. If yesterday was any indication the Yankees are going to have their hands full dealing with the Blue Jay’s lineup. The Blue Jays have a young and talented lineup. The Jay’s biggest problem getting to a postseason playoff is that they have little pitching.

Deivi Garcia does himself few favors

Going into yesterday’s game, Deivi Garcia had the fourth-best ERA of the starting rotation and was considered an option for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Although he was a consideration, with Domingo German being the best pitcher in spring training, it was doubtful that Garcia would make the 26 man roster and that fifth spot would go to German.

Although he will get another start in what remains of spring training, he will likely start the season in the minors after yesterday’s performance. Yesterday he was just terrible, he had no command of his pitches giving up 7 hits and 4 runs while walking two in just three innings of work. He certainly did himself no favors in the competition for the anchor job. But for Deivi Garcia fans, not to worry, the Yankees will need a lot of help as all the pitchers adjust to a 162 game season. Garcia is still expected to play a major role pitching for the Yankees in 2021 as the season progresses.

Yankee bullpen shines in Jays game

With the start of the regular season just eight days away, the New York Yankee pitching situation had been upbeat. Domingo German has been near perfect; Jameson Taillon and Jordan Mongomery are not far behind German. Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber are not yet up to what the Yankees would like to see but are very adequate to start the season and are healthy. One of the brightest spots for Yankee pitching is that the bullpen has shined for the most part.

Yesterday was no exception. After Deivi Garcia blew the game for the Yankees, the bullpen did their job. The Yankee’s workhorse Luis Cessa pitched two innings of relief and gave up just one run while striking out three Jays in two innings of work. The rest of the bullpen didn’t give up a run in the next four innings. The work of Lucas Luetge, Addison Russ, Kyle Barraclough, and Albert Abreu was stellar.

Blue Jays have pitching problems to solve

The Blue Jays acquired Kirbie Yates and Robbie Ray during the offseason, but now it appears neither will be ready to start the regular season. Added to that, Nate Pearson is likely not to be available either as he rehabs from a groin injury. This is a takeaway from yesterday’s Toronto shut out of the Yankees because many baseball executives and baseball writers think that one of the Yankees’ major opponents this season will be the Toronto Blue Jays.

Before spring training, the Blue Jays spent more money than any of its East rivals. But that is because they spent the most in franchise history to obtain the services of George Springer. They also acquired Kirby Yates and Robbie Ray to strengthen their pitching staff. The Jays’ biggest problem is that Yates, after Tommy John surgery, will miss the entire year. Ray will likely not be available at the start of the season after a minor bruise to his elbow and will need time to recover, and then will have to be built up. Nate Pearson, who has missed most of the spring training from a groin injury, has reinjured it and could miss the regular season’s first month.

The Blue Jays do have some options but may go to the trade market to help out. Trent Thornton that won yesterday’s game against the New York Yankees, was previously thought to start in the minors but may now provide significant help in the starting rotation. Other than Yates, the Blue Jays will be in better shape after a week or two. But even a loss of one or two games could be major in an East race that is expected to be tight between the Yankees, Jays, and Rays.