Has Deivi Garcia saved his Yankees career during Spring Training?

New York Yankees v Philadelphia Phillies
New York Yankees v Philadelphia Phillies / Mark Brown/GettyImages

Thanks to (once again) a litany of injuries to members of the New York Yankees expected to make the Opening Day roster, former top prospect Deivi Garcia may have extended his future in the Bronx with an impressive Spring Training of his own.

Somehow, the discourse surrounding the right-hander has been relatively quiet despite his massive regressions in 2021 and 2022. He certainly was entering a make-or-break spring, but the attention recently shifted to the Yankees' pitching staff getting decimated after Carlos Rodón, Tommy Kahnle, Lou Trivino and Frankie Montas went down.

Meanwhile, Garcia has enjoyed himself so far, allowing just two earned runs on four hits and four walks across 7.1 innings of work (three games) during Spring Training. He'd held opponents to a .174 batting average and has recorded seven strikeouts.

Though he was optioned to minor-league camp on Tuesday, that doesn't change what he might bring to the team in 2023. The Yankees are going to need spot starts as well as bullpen help, and Garcia may have firmly placed himself in the conversation to handle either one of those roles when the time comes.

Don't believe us? How about what MLB.com's Bryan Hoch had to say on Tuesday after watching Garcia's most recent outing on Monday.

Did Deivi Garcia save his Yankees career in Spring Training?

Garcia occupies a 40-man roster spot, so he was very much in danger of getting outright released had he blown up again in Florida. Right out of the gate, the Yankees can't be wasting roster spots, given their health situation.

After putting up ERAs of 6.85 and 6.89 as well as WHIPs of 1.88 and 1.44 over the past two seasons, it was reasonable to believe Garcia could've been a goner with a slow start at big league camp. But now that even rival scouts are saying this is the "best he's looked throwing the ball in two years," perhaps this is the beginning of some sort of a revival for the 23-year-old.

Not only that, but apparently, whatever mechanical adjustment he made with his pitching motion has resulted in more velocity. On Monday night against the Twins, he was sitting between 95-96.8 MPH with his fastball. For reference, when he was up at the MLB level with the Yankees during the 2020 campaign, he averaged 91.9 MPH in a decent sample size.

Garcia told MLB.com that he's adapted to a more aggressive approach, while working on his cutter and utilizing his curveball a lot less.

Fans shouldn't get excited about his potential to be a top-of-the-rotation arm, because those days of comparisons to Pedro Martinez are far in the rearview, but Garcia's newfound alterations and confidence could make him an unexpected contributor in 2023.