Yankees promote top pitching prospect to make MLB debut against Padres

Feb 23, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Randy Vasquez (98) throws a ball
Feb 23, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Randy Vasquez (98) throws a ball / Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

There hasn't been an official roster move announced by the New York Yankees, but we know there's a change coming by the conclusion of Thursday's game against the Baltimore Orioles. The Bombers are going to try out another one of their prospect pitchers.

Randy Vasquez was spotted in the Yankees clubhouse on Thursday afternoon and it was quickly confirmed he will be Friday's starter against the San Diego Padres.

New York optioned Jhony Brito to Triple-A after his poor outing on Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds, apparently indicating they wanted to try somebody else out. At that point, they already knew Domingo Germán was suspended for 10 games and the rotation was down a guy, even with the return of Luis Severino.

They got what they could out of Brito as Vasquez logged some more Triple-A starts under his belt to get ready. The Yankees' No. 12 prospect, whose fairly well known among fans who follow the farm system, is 1-5 with a 4.85 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 23 walks and 50 strikeouts in nine starts (42.2 innings) with the Scranton RailRiders.

His command has been a problem, as his walk rate has witnessed a considerable hike at Triple-A. But lucky for him, he'll be facing the Padres, who have the worst batting average in MLB! And he's lowered his ERA nearly three full runs over his last five starts -- four of which were either scoreless or quality outings.

Yankees promoting top prospect Randy Vasquez to start Friday

Vasquez, signed out of the Dominican Republic, made his debut with the organization in 2018. The 24-year-old lost a season due to the pandemic but quickly rose through the minor leagues in 2021. He ended the year at Double-A after starting at Single-A Tampa.

He then spent all of 2022 at Double-A, logging a 3.90 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 41 walks and 120 strikeouts in 25 starts (115.1 innings). Rock solid, but nothing special. He was in camp with the team this year, but got knocked around in two of his three outings.

He finished spring training strong, however, with a scoreless four-inning showing against the Phillies, which may have convinced the Bombers to start him at Triple-A in 2023. He's not without his flaws, but he's not getting any younger, and the developmental timeline is nearing the end. Oh yeah, and the Yankees don't really have a choice because they're down so many pitchers.

It's smart of them to see what they may have in Vasquez, who could provide an energetic boost just like Brito did in his first two MLB outings earlier in the season.

The "stuff" is there, as you can see. Vasquez has good velcity and a ton of movement. Maybe a few tweaks from pitching coach Matt Blake can do the trick and either help him stay with the team or build off of his game at Triple-A.

And we'll get our first official look on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET.