New York Yankees: Will Deivi Garcia’s September successes put him in the October mix?

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia
USA Today

The recent successes of New York Yankees‘ pitching sensation Deivi Garcia have put him in the postseason conversation. Garcia, in his major league debut on August 30th, he pitched six solid innings, striking out 6 Mets, with no earned runs. Although he didn’t get the win, the Yankees did win the game. In his second outing, he hit a bump in the road and gave up four earned runs in the Yankee loss to the Orioles, but he still struck out 6. In his last outing, he was masterful in his first major league win over the Blue Jays. He went seven innings and 95 pitches while striking out six Jays. It was his third consecutive game striking out six opponents.

Tonight he will again face the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth start of his major league debut.  If he wins tonight, he will push the Blue Jays back into third place. In his last game, he mixed up his pitches well, retiring the last 18 of 20 Jays he faced. He was asked if he will change anything after just facing them last week.

“I don’t think so. The plan of attack is based on aggressiveness and being competitive out there, that’s the bottom line, being competitive and able to execute.’’

What impresses onlookers and the Yankee brass is that he is unflappable, and his confidence shines through, no matter what the situation.  For a young 21-year-old, Garcia exhibits the confidence on the mound of a veteran with much more experience. Garcia is getting praise out of the Yankee realm as well. After his major league debut, he received a call from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez of Boston Red Sox fame, congratulating the young man.  Tonight when Garcia takes the mound, he will carry the number 45 emblazoned on his belt (Pedro Martinez’s number).

Garcia, at some point, will most likely talk with Martinez again. Regardless of the confidence Garcia shows on the mound, off the mound, he is a sponge, learning everything he can.

“Every experience is unique, and you learn from those,” Garcia said. “I learn from my teammates. How do they go about their responsibilities on and off the field, the professionalism as baseball players and the preparation? Building a plan to face a team … What goes into that? How do you prepare for that?

“They’re very important for me as a player, just the experience itself and gaining as much as I can.”

With some of the New York Yankee pitching faltering, Deivi Garcia was called up to do the unimaginable for a young pitcher to turn the tides of the Yankees, who had lost the last 15 of 20 games.  He didn’t disappoint; he started the Yankees on their present five-game winning streak. When asked if he would ever be put in this critical situation, just entering the major leagues, he said:

“That has always been in my head and the goal,’’ said Garcia, who pitched at three levels of the Yankees’ system last year. “It did happen fast for me, but at the same time, the preparation and many years of work and continuous preparation has allowed me to feel comfortable here.’’

García signed with the New York Yankees during July of 2015 for a $200k signing bonus. Though he previously played baseball as an infielder and outfielder, the Yankees were determined to have him become a Yankee pitcher, due to his curveball and arm strength. For the next two years, trainers worked with Garcia at the Boca Chica facility. In 2018, García pitched for the Charleston River Dogs and the Tampa Tarpons. He made his final start of 2018 with the Trenton Thunder AA Yankee minor league affiliate as he continued to rocket through the minors.

Following the 2019 season, the Yankees added García to their 40 man roster to protect him from becoming eligible in the Rule 5 draft. García was named minor league pitcher of the year in the Yankees organization in 2019. He made his major league debut for the Yankees on August 30th.

Whether Garcia pitches in this postseason is unknown at this time, It depends on injuries and the return of James Paxton, and if he can be effective after his injury. After tonight, he will most likely face the Blue Jays again, that time will be back in Buffalo. Even if he doesn’t pitch in the postseason, Garcia will have an impact on the Yankees for years to come. His next two starts, could seal the deal, and we will see this young man make his mark in his first postseason play.

Other than Garcia’s start tonight, the Yankees will have more to look forward too.  Gio Urshela, star third baseman, will return to the lineup, putting DJ LeMahieu back at second base. Jonathan Loaisiga will also return tonight, bolstering the bullpen. On the immediate horizon is the return of sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and the Yankees will be nearly whole again going into the postseason.