The Yankees might have one secret piece to deploy in the bullpen next season

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia
Sep 15, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia (83) delivers a pitch during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are heading into the 2022 season with a strong bullpen, featuring Jonathan Loaisiga, Clay Holmes, Chad Green, and more, but they may be able to use Deivi Garcia in a relief role as well.

Garcia is considered a starting pitcher but made a minimal impact on the 2021 season, pitching only 8.1 innings despite injury woes plaguing the rotation.

At 22 years old, Garcia enjoyed a lucrative 2020 campaign with the top team, pitching 34.1 innings. He recorded a 4.98 ERA but had several stand-out performances that showcased his quality.

Garcia’s fastball hovers around 92 mph, but his usage dropped to just 41.2% compared to 60% in 2020. It was disappointing to see Garcia be overlooked by management despite their need for starting pitchers. Considering he was plastered by the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers, finishing with a 6.48 ERA last season, the Yankees are likely wondering what they have in the young righty.

At this point in time, the Yankees might want to lean on Garcia to be a middle-inning reliever, given he has the stamina to feature as a starter. If he can provide good innings as a relief arm, the team could use the production before elevating him to the rotation, given he proves his worth.

Alternatively, they could consider utilizing him in a prospective trade. General manager Brian Cashman was unwilling to deal Garcia last off-season, but now that his value has plummeted, he might be scratching his head.

The Yankees have several pitchers who are teetering on the edge of reliable, including Luis Severino and Domingo German. Severino is coming back from Tommy John surgery last year, and German saw his production fall off considerably after making a comeback from suspension.

The Bombers have been investing plenty of optimism in those three pitchers, but they need to get a bit more value from Garcia, who also struggled at the Triple-A level last season, hosting a 6.85 ERA over 90.2 innings.