Corey Kluber's injury opens the door again for Deivi Garcia to solidify a spot in the Yankees' rotation.
DETROIT — Deivi Garcia made his MLB debut against the Mets on Aug. 30 last season and immediately made the Yankees’ hype train look good, tossing six innings and allowing no runs on one hit.
Since then, Garcia, arguably the organization’s top pitching prospect, has been uneven, to say the least.
He was solid in three of his next five starts in the majors and then tossed the first inning of the Game 2 loss in the ALDS against the Rays. He was fine in his lone MLB outing this season, when he allowed two runs in four innings in Baltimore on April 26.
And he has been the picture of inconsistency at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, leaving one AL scout to wonder just what the Yankees have in Garcia, who turned 22 on May 19.
“He’s someone I think was really impacted by not having a full season last year,’’ the scout said of the pandemic-shortened season. “He just hasn’t pitched much against top competition.”
With Corey Kluber sidelined for the next two months — if not longer — Garcia should get another long look in The Bronx.
That starts Saturday, when he returns to face the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Garcia has thrown just 39 ¹/₃ innings in the majors and made just 10 starts at Triple-A.
Since his outing against the Orioles, Garcia has made four starts with SWB. He was already slated to make at least another spot start in the rotation before Kluber’s injury, despite an up-and-down stretch in the minors.
He followed up an awful first outing at Triple-A — when he walked seven in just 3 ¹/₃ innings — with two “dynamic” outings, as Yankees manager Aaron Boone called them.
But after allowing just an unearned run and walking two — while striking out 16 — over 10 innings, Garcia had another rough start his last time out, when he allowed four runs and eight baserunners in 2 ¹/₃ innings last Saturday.
“I understand the consistency that I would want, I haven’t gotten to that point yet,’’ Garcia said Friday through an interpreter. “I feel good. I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Over the course of his career, Garcia has had difficulty maintaining the same delivery, which is what occasionally leads to a loss of command.
Garcia acknowledged as much Friday, saying he was still trying to find the balance in his mechanics to not lose his release point.
With the Yankees in the midst of a stretch of 13 games in 13 days, Garcia was set to get called up. But since three off days in eight days beginning Monday, Boone said the Yankees might get “creative” with their rotation.
And there’s no guarantee Garcia sticks around beyond Saturday.
“We’ll see,’’ Boone said of Garcia’s future in the rotation. “We have options right now.’’
Michael King is set to be at least a bulk pitcher Sunday, while Jameson Taillon will be bumped to Monday.
“Certainly there are opportunities that are presenting themselves right now,’’ Boone said. “We’ll see who takes advantage.”
Boone didn’t want to place too many expectations on Garcia heading into his second major league start of the year.
“I just want him to be the best version of himself,’’ the manager said. “We’ve seen him have varying levels of success for us last year. We know what he’s capable of. It’s just about being consistent — consistent with his delivery, consistent with his pitch selection and stuff.”
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin