Yankees News: Starting rotation has a great problem, a surprise outfielder will make roster

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia
Mar 14, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia (83) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees might be dealing with a few injuries, but there are plenty of positives to extract from their most recent string of spring training games. Miguel Andujar is the latest to pick up an injury, dealing with hand and wrist soreness, but the Yankees have a fantastic problem brewing in the starting pitching rotation.

As they look to figure out the fifth spot in the rotation, a competition has been brewing between Domingo German and Deivi Garcia, two of the Yankees’ top young pitching guns.

Over two performances the spring, German has a 0.00 ERA over 5.0 innings pitched. He has seven strikeouts over 16 batters face and has allowed just two hits. Garcia, on the other hand, has been a bit less efficient but still posting quality numbers. Against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, García pitched 3.0 innings, allowing just one hit and one run while collecting two strikeouts. Another stellar outing for the 21-year-old starter, who continues to gain confidence with every passing day.

Skipper Aaron Boone preached his confidence in German and Garcia, who are living up to expectations and then some.

“The first thing I would say is, I’m really excited about where both guys are,” Boone said before the game. “I think the entire staff would have tremendous confidence in giving either one of them the ball in any situation, any game. So I feel like, as we sit here in the middle of March, we’re in a pretty good place as far as where our potential starting pitching is and where our starting pitching depth is.”

Garcia understands that he might not be the best pitcher on the roster, but the opportunity he currently has cannot be undervalued. It is a chance for him to earn starting time this upcoming season, and based on his performance as of late, I believe he will be featured in the rotation early on. Especially with Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber coming off significant injuries, García’s services will be impactful.

“You come into camp and you understand the possibilities, and you get excited about that,” Garcia said afterward through his interpreter. “[But] it’s not a decision I can make. I just want to give the best I have throughout the process. And don’t forget to enjoy it.”

A surprise invite could make the starting roster, opening day for the Yankees:

When the Yankees invited veteran outfielder Jay Bruce to join the team for spring training, nobody estimated he would be hitting .400 with two homers and three RBIs over just 15 at-bats.

He has been stellar offensively, as the three-time All-Star is looking to resurrect his career in New York after spending time with the Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, and New York Mets over the past three years. Bruce is a cable outfielder who can fill a major hole for the Yankees, especially with injuries taking their toll on sluggers like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton of the past two seasons.

After hitting just .198 over 32 games last year with Philadelphia, it seems as if Bruce has left those inconsistencies behind him so far this year. He has proven he deserves a spot on the active roster for the Yankees after they make their official cuts prior to Opening Day on April 1. He’s trending up and hopefully can continue producing.