The New York Yankees have an exciting position battle brewing for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. With the return of Domingo German, youth players like Deivi Garcia and Michael King will have to work even harder to earn live action in 2021.
However, they are up to the task, especially Garcia, who played in six games last season during the abbreviated 2020 campaign. Garcia struggled a bit but showed flashes of dominance in specific outings. He finished with a 4.98 ERA over 34.1 innings pitched, and I fully expect him to play even more moving forward.
Pitching coach Matt Blake raved about Garcia and what heâ€™s capable of doing on the mound at just 21 years old.
â€œWhen you think about a 21-year-old and the way he carries himself out there, it is really impressive,â€ the pitching coach said. â€œJust the game skills that he has for how young he is, the ability to slow the game down, to make the big pitches, to add and subtract. Those are definitely advanced for a guy whoâ€™s 21 years old.â€
While German is expected to earn the fifth spot in the rotation based on his previous experience and development, I wouldnâ€™t rule out GarcÃa giving him a run for his money. Blake might have tipped his hand that German has a slight advantage, but he was unwilling to make a definitive claim on any specific pitcher earning the spot.
â€œWe havenâ€™t gotten far enough into camp yet,â€ he said. â€œBut, obviously, you know Deivi and German have both looked really good. Mike King looked good the other day. So, I think weâ€™re going to have a lot of horses in the race assuming we stay healthy. So, thatâ€™s a good problem.â€
â€œI think there are some things just from a development standpoint that we want to make sure that Deivi and Mike and Nelson and some of these guys kind of get to,â€ Blake said. â€œObviously, German, having his 2019 performance, heâ€™s established himself at the major-league level.