New York Yankees fans love Deivi Garcia. They really do.
His 2020 debut was impressive and he looks like he’ll me a member of the team’s rotation for years to come.
But perhaps that journey won’t begin on a full-time basis in 2021. And you know what, it probably shouldn’t.
Garcia’s appeared in just 11 Triple-A games before making the leap to the MLB roster thanks to the pandemic-shortened season, so one could argue he needs more refining before he solidifies this role.
Though he’s overall been good this spring, he’s struggled with his command throughout the month of March, and it finally came to a head on Wednesday.
During his start against the Blue Jays, which could be his final one before camp breaks (we’re not entirely sure yet), he got absolutely obliterated. And it all started because of a bad pitch. Garcia had gotten two outs in the first inning and had Bo Bichette in an 0-2 count. For some reason, the right-hander offered a fastball right over the middle of the plate, and Bichette sent it over the fence.
After that? A day to forget.
Yankees starter Deivi Garcia seems ticketed for Triple-A.
The warning signs were there. Garcia pitched three innings in his last outing and was taken out after 56 pitches. Today, it was 67 in three-plus innings. He’s allowed 12 hits and eight walks in his 14 spring innings.
But it’s OK! He’s still just 21 years old and has a lot of growing/maturing to do. Starting the season in Triple-A is the best course of action for him. It was a foregone conclusion he wouldn’t be breaking camp with the Yankees after manager Aaron Boone said the team would be carrying five starters on the Opening Day roster.
Domingo German will be the No. 5 starter and that’s the end of it.
On top of control issues, Garcia still needs to master locating his fastball since he only averages about 92 MPH on it. He can’t be serving up gifts like that to hitters like Bichette. He’ll have to work the corners better.
Hitters are also getting an awful lot of barrel on his pitches, so at times he’s being too accurate or predictable, which is odd since his last two outings have been characterized as “being all over the place.”
The Yankees will be relying on Garcia for plenty of starts in 2021, but they shouldn’t come in April or May. Let him continue getting back up to speed and working through his current shortcomings.
It’s more imperative that the Yankees have him at his best when he’s needed rather than carrying him as a luxury on the Opening Day roster while he still struggles with a multitude of issues.