Predicting when injuries will occur is simply impossible, but over the past few seasons, the New York Yankees have dealt with significant issues in the department. They should be anticipating injuries at this point, especially in the outfield and with their starting pitchers. Last season, James Paxton missed a majority of the campaign, Luis Severino missed the entire year recovering from Tommy John surgery, Domingo German was still serving a suspension, and Masahiro Tanaka was plunked in the head with a line drive, forcing him to miss a few weeks.
The Yankees have only doubled down on their risk, acquiring Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon, two pitchers who have barely played over the past two seasons.
The current rotation is far different than it was in 2020, but that doesnâ€™t mean we should feel confident they can stay healthy and playing an entire 162 game season. Consider the fact that the starters last year couldnâ€™t even make it through 60 games healthy.
Projected New York Yankees 2021 starting pitching rotation:
1.) Gerrit Cole
2.) Corey Kluber
3.) Luis Severino (upon return)
4.) Jordan Montgomery
5.) Domingo German
6.) Deivi Garcia
7.) Clarke Schmidt
8.) Michael King
9.) Jonathan Loaisiga
The one young starter who could end up playing a significant role is Deivi Garcia, who pitched in six games last year, earning a 4.98 and 0.8 WAR. He only featured over 34.1 innings, having a few stand our performances and getting hit around on a few others. It was essential experience for the 21-year-old prospect. Considering heâ€™s barely able to drink an alcoholic beverage in the USA, nobody anticipated him becoming a focal point in the rotation last year. At just 5-foot-9 and 163 pounds, heâ€™s not an imposing pitcher on the mound.
In fact, he utilizes a unique blend of finesse and deadly curve to rack up strikeouts. He recorded just 8.65 strikeouts per nine this past season after spending his entire minor-league career in the double digits. The expectation is that his experience last season will roll over into 2021 and prove to be a major factor in his development. The Yankees feel confident that he can be a solid option in the latter portion of their rotation, but given the risk, Brian Cashman has installed into the rotation, GarcÃa could easily be moved up if injuries do arise.
We will keep an eye on his development, especially during spring training when he has an opportunity to showcase his growth. At such a young age, he has plenty of time to refine his abilities, and the Yankees feel very highly he will be one of their premium starters in the future.