Yankees: What in the world has happened to Deivi Garcia?

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 26: Starting pitcher Deivi Garcia #83 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 26: Starting pitcher Deivi Garcia #83 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Less than a year ago, the New York Yankees likely viewed top prospect Deivi Garcia as a cornerstone for their starting rotation.

The right-hander, who had only appeared in 11 career Triple-A games, made his MLB debut during a shortened 2020 campaign when the team was desperately in need of arms, and at one point even helped the Bombers turn their season around when he stopped the bleeding against the Blue Jays.

He finished the year 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 34.1 innings. Pretty darn good for a 5-foot-9, 160-pound right-hander who was still finding his way.

At the very least, Garcia had built up his value even more quickly than anyone could have imagined, and could’ve been a helpful trade chip this past offseason or prior to the 2021 deadline.

Now? Not at all. He’s probably not even a viable option for the Yankees anymore. Actually, he clearly isn’t because Jameson Taillon has been downright awful and the organization has yet to make a change!

In his first season starting the year in Triple-A, Garcia owns a ghastly 8.10 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in seven starts. Those outings have totaled 23.1 innings. That’s barely over three frames per start!

On Tuesday night, he couldn’t record more than an out in the first inning after walking four batters and throwing 20 balls out of his total 35 pitches. He was charged with five earned runs. You might think that destroyed his ERA (it kinda did), but he had a 6.26 mark before that. Still awful.

And that was against the last-place Syracuse Mets. He was also knocked around by the Rochester Red Wings, who have been having a bad season, on par with the Mets’. The only team he’s had successful outings against is the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. In three starts he’s tossed 15.1 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits and five walks.

We’re truly unsure if there’s any rhyme or reason to it. Garcia is either just having a really bad year or his cup of coffee with the big league club was a mirage.

His control is completely lost, as evidenced by his 8.5 BB/9 and egregious 19.8% walk rate. He’s getting clobbered by the long ball, having allowed six in his seven starts. 

There’s no indication if it’s a mechanical issue, declining velocity, or something mental. Do the research. There’s been so little even talked about him among the minor league beat reporters, which is almost even more concerning.

Once again, the Yankees have an asset that’s depreciated faster than a brand new car being driven off the lot. How it keeps happening, we do not know.