Deivi Garcia is doing his best to make this a race, but Domingo German continues to pull away. Monday likely solidified his spot on the New York Yankees Opening Day roster as the team’s No. 5 starter.
It was his third outing of the spring and his best yet. The Phillies had no answers for him (though Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto and Alec Boehm weren’t in the lineup) and could only muster three hits and a walk across four innings. German struck out six before leaving the game.
Though we’re still not ruling out the Yankees going with a six-man rotation to begin the year, it’s at least safe to say German will grab himself a roster spot regardless of the plan.
He has more experience and the Yankees held onto him throughout all the controversial off-the-field incidents. They’ve been waiting for this.
What’s even more impressive is that he hasn’t pitched in MLB since Sept. of 2019. Though he did get offseason reps in the Dominican Winter League, he’s still been away from the game for quite some time and is managing to put up these kinds of numbers in the spring.
As for Garcia, who’d be right there with German if not for surrendering two solo home runs, the young right-hander could stand to develop further in Triple-A, where he’s only logged a handful of outings. He made the leap to the MLB roster in 2020 due to the pandemic-shortened season.
Some would argue he’s ready for the show, and we’d certainly agree, but at this point, unless the Yankees go with a six-man rotation, expect Garcia to begin the year in the minor leagues and come up whenever the Bombers need reinforcements on the pitching staff — which will be quite often.
Assuming German didn’t implode this spring and/or further immerse himself in unsightly situations, he felt like the frontrunner to round off the rotation. Garcia only has six MLB starts under his belt while German led the American League in wins back in 2019. All the right-hander needed to do was prove he was somewhat on track, and he’s exceeded every expectation thus far.
It’s fair for fans to be upset if this is the outcome, however. Many called for German’s release given the horrific accusations that led to his 81-game suspension, since the Yankees had an immediate solution in Garcia and deepened their rotation with the additions of Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon.
But he’ll be in the Bronx come April 1, and the least we can hope for is that he’s made amends in his personal life and is ready to focus on baseball.