As the Yankees ramp up spring training gradually, position battles will commence. It will be exciting to see how the bullpen and starting rotation shakes out, but the fifth spot in the rotation is a massive question at the moment.
Of course, Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Jordan Montgomery will likely man the first four slots, but after that, itâ€™s a toss-up. With the Yankees welcoming back Domingo German from his suspension which was a result of a domestic violence case, the expectation is that he will solidify that final spot. However, he will have competition from a few younger pitchers, and I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if Deivi GarcÃa stole his thunder.
German last pitched in 2019 when he earned a 4.03 ERA and 18 wins over 143 innings. He took a massive step forward in his development, and the expectation was that he would become a premier starter for the Yankees shortly after. His suspension derailed his progress significantly, and he missed the entire 2020 season, spending most of his days curating cryptic Instagram posts.
It is fair to assume that German is on a short leash with the Yankees, as he recently posted another strange Instagram message, indicating that â€œeverything is over,â€ quickly deleting it and indicating his excitement for spring training.
Skipper Aaron Boone was made aware of the post, and even he was a bit perplexed at German’s decision. However, he’s still on the roster and will compete for the final slot in the rotation.
The New York Yankees could see a massive glow-up from Garcia:
With that being said, I believe Garcia could steal the slot, having pitched 34.1 innings in 2020 and earning a 4.98 ERA. While he did get demolished on a few occasions, he held his ground in more than one instance. Against the New York Mets in August, he lasted 6.0 innings, allowing zero runs and four hits. In his third start of the year against the Toronto Blue Jays, he lasted seven innings, allowing two runs. It wasnâ€™t until his final two starts that he began to lose his momentum, giving up six runs and four runs against Boston and Miami.
With a tantalizing curve and solid velocity, Garcia has the tools to become an adequate starting pitcher in the MLB, and at just 21 years old, the Yankees would feel very confident moving forward with him. There is a belief that Nick Nelson could also rise to the occasion and claim the fifth spot, but I believe the competition will fall down to German and Garcia. There should be an exciting position battle, and when we will keep an eye on our spring training progresses.