3 Yankees who won’t make Opening Day roster but will contribute a ton in 2021

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Deivi García #83 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Deivi García #83 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

1. Deivi Garcia

Yup, all pitchers. Sorry if you were expecting a position player, but we can safely say that part of the roster is as set in stone as it can possibly be at this juncture.

Fans might be upset Garcia is likely to start the year in Triple-A, but it’s probably for the best. He’s had hardly any experience above Double-A and his 2020 debut (six starts) was a result of the global pandemic. He’s not yet built up to contribute 20-plus high-leverage starts on the big league roster.

Domingo German’s resurgence has no doubt begun to end the discussion about who the team’s fifth starter will be. He’s the more experienced arm and he’s proven he’s ready to go after his own long layoff. His 2019 cannot be ignored, either. He has a way more notable body of work than Garcia.

But Boone said on Sunday that the Yankees will be relying on both German and Garcia for starts this season, which is no surprise at all. Perhaps the Yankees go with a six-man rotation and Garcia makes the roster, but we wouldn’t bank on that. They’ll probably start the year with Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery and German, and then evaluate from there.

The fact of the matter is that Garcia will be called upon to make a number of starts. Everyone after Cole in the rotation still needs to be built back up to endure a full season because of injuries and a long time away from the game. None of those guys will come close to 200 innings pitched — probably not even 160.

Garcia not making the Opening Day roster is hardly “bad news” for the young right-hander. He’ll just have to wait for more opportunities to open up and he’ll get his chance. And if he’s proven anything, it’s that he’s up for the challenge whenever the Yankees need him.