The New York Yankees have one of the best farm systems in Major League Baseball, and some under-the-radar players made an impact before spring training was abruptly cut short due to the coronavirus.
However, their big-name prospects also displayed their abilities and competed for spots on the active roster. With injuries plaguing the team, there were several opportunities for reserve players to make an impact and earn starting reps. The starting pitching unit lost Luis Severino for the entire 2020 season, and James Paxton will be out until early May. With the regular season delaying its start date at least eight weeks, injured players will likely be ready for the new Opening Day.
Throughout the course of the season, injuries will occur, giving more opportunities to younger players. One starting option is Deivi Garcia, who struggled with consistency during the Grapefruit League play this year.
Where do the New York Yankees need to help refine Garcia?
Garcia’s issues have primarily been his consistency, and those didn’t dissipate this off-season. In his final start this spring, Garcia pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits in a loss to the Marlins. He walked one batter and struck out three, marking 31 strikes over 48 total pitches. Garcia has shown impressive stuff, as he started the game with a one-two-three inning, but then gave up three runs in the next two innings.
Working on his command was the priority this spring, as harnessing the ability of his pitch types allows him to diversify his game plan and confuse hitters more efficiently. Last season, Garcia led the Yankees minor league with 165 strikeouts, and while he has posted impressive strikeout numbers the spring, he was 0-2 in Grapefruit League play and boasted a 7.36 ERA.
As for Garcia eyeing the 5th man in the rotation before operations shut down, manager Aaron Boon stated, according to MLB.com:
“We’ll see,” said Boone. “I have a little idea that is starting to form in my head. That said, I feel like there’s a lot of guys vying for opportunities that have pitched themselves into the mix. I’m still very much open to a lot of different things. That’s why we’re trying to build guys out in a certain way, to give us those options and try to make the best decision.
After Garcia’s tough spring, it’s clear that he needs more time in Scranton Wilkes-Barre to adapt to a higher level of play. The young DR native has all of the potential in the world, but climbing the minor league system in three months didn’t give him much time to adapt.