Tonight the New York Yankees will face Joe Girardi’s Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium at 6 pm, in the last exhibition game before the start of the regular season in the nation’s capital against the World Champion Nationals. In the first two exhibition games against the New York Mets, the Mets were demolished by the Yankees 15-3. The Yankee pitching only allowed three runs in 18 innings of play.
Tonight the New York Yankees will reach further into their pitching prospects and start Deivi Garcia against the Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez. This will be the first time that Joe Girardi will face the New York Yankees since his contract to manage the team was not renewed after the 2017 season. As season that saw the Yankees lose to the Houston Astros in the ALCS. It was since discovered that manager Girardi might have lost his job due to a stolen season caused by the cheating Houston Astros.
In a recent interview, Girardi said that it would be strange entering Yankee Stadium in a different uniform. Joe Girardi brought the Yankees to their last World Series win in 2009. He was the Yankee manager from 2008 to 2017 taking over from Joe Torre. Tonight he will enter Yankee Stadium again, this time to try to beat the Yankees with his Philadelphia Phillies.
The fiery Girardi was well-liked by the Yankee faithful both as a manager and Yankee catcher. If this were a typical season, Girardi would be welcomed back at the Stadium with fan applause, but tonight it will be without fanfare.
Tonight’s New York Yankee starter, Deivi Garcia is a Dominican Republic native that has just turned 21 years old. He was signed as an international free agent in 2015, the 5-foot-9, 163-pound Garcia draws physical comparisons to Pedro Martinez. Last year Garcia was promoted to the AAA Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Riders. In his minor league career, he is 17-20 but with a very respectable 3.37 ERA.
“You see why we’re excited about him,’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said early in camp about Garcia, praising “his ability to spin the ball’’ and his progress through the club’s system “at a very young age.’’ Tonight Deivi (pronounced Davey) will get his chance to win a game for the Yankees in the spotlight of a televised game. The game will be televised by the YES Network at 6 pm.
The Phillies Vince Valasquez will show what he’s got. Last year Valasquez allowed two runs or fewer and pitched at least 5.0 innings in each of his first four starts, posting a 2.08 ERA (5 ER, 21.2 IP)…Carried a no-hitter through 5.2 innings on 4/14 at MIA, the fourth time he had carried a no-hitter through at least 5.0 innings since the start of 2018.
He finished the 2019 season making 10 relief appearances between April and June, posting a 0.93 ERA (1 ER, 9.2 IP) in nine of those 10 (4 ER, 0.2 IP in the other)…Overall, posted a 4.96 ERA (59 ER, 107.0 IP) as a starter and 4.35 ERA (5 ER, 10.1 IP) in relief…Made only eight of his 23 starts at home and allowed three runs or fewer in six of them.
Valasquez pitching in five major league seasons is the veteran pitcher facing the new boy on the block. The New York Yankee brass and the fans will be watching Deivi Garcia closely as he may be needed in this coronavirus shortened season if injuries pop up.