The New York Yankees are heading into the 2021 season with an undetermined starting pitching rotation. While the expectation is that Corey Kluber will take over the second spot and Jameson Taillon the third, behind him is a bit of a battle during spring training.
Whether Jordan Montgomery claims the fourth spot or a player like Nick Nelson inserts himself at the fifth spot, there could be fluctuations at the back end of the rotation.
One player we cannot disregard is Dominican Republic native Deivi Garcia, who stands at just 5â€™9â€Â 163 pounds. For a 21-year-old, Garcia is not intimidating on the mound, but once the ball leaves his hand, it can do amazing things. This past season, Garcia was pulled up to the MLB, supplementing injuries and deficiencies in the rotation.
He finished the year with three wins and two losses, earning a 4.98 ERA over 34.1 innings. While he did allow 35 hits and 19 earned runs, he also posted 33 strikeouts and walked just six batters. While some might look at his statistics and call them disappointing, it was his first major league action after spending minimal time in the Yankees farm system.
Two specific games showed that GarcÃa can be a starting level pitcher for the future and could even claim a starting spot in the rotation this upcoming season. Last August, he dominated the New York Mets, lasting six innings and allowing zero runs. He struck out six batters, something he did in five of six starts. Two games later, he dominated the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing two runs over 7.0 innings, and I will never forget the pure emotion and excitement Eric Kratz had for who he called his â€œsonâ€ at the time.
Garcia is now with the Yankees down in Florida preparing for the start of the season, and he feels excited to be learning with such great competition and players around him, which is truly a special scenario that will only make him a better player in the future.
“I feel really good,” GarcÃa said. “Thank God for that. Just being around here, I have the opportunity to keep learning so much, being around all the teammates we have in camp. I think it’s a great opportunity to keep on moving forward in my career and take the next steps.”