Deivi Garcia is the ‘fearless’ key to Yankees’ playoff chances
It’s only been four starts, but Deivi Garcia has made quite an impression on his Yankees teammates.
Gary Sanchez called him “fearless.”
Gerrit Cole said of Garcia, “I really like what I see.”
And it’s easy to tell why. The 21-year-old won again in Tuesday’s romp over the Blue Jays thanks to an eruption from the offense — and seven more strong innings from the rookie right-hander.
In 24 ⅔ innings, Garcia has the lowest WHIP of any Yankee starter, 0.973. His 3.28 ERA is only a tick above that of Cole and Masahiro Tanaka. His strikeout/walk ratio is just behind Tanaka.
By those accounts, it’s possible Garcia could start a Game 3 for the Yankees in the playoffs — after Cole and Tanaka.
Cole was unsure how Garcia’s inexperience might impact him in a potential playoff start, but the Yankees’ ace has seen only good things from his new teammate.
“The aggressiveness, the command and the balance and repeatability of his delivery,” Cole said when asked what stood out about Garcia. “And he has an idea of what he wants to do and what he’s looking for. I think he’s advanced in all… of those categories.”
That continued Tuesday night, when Garcia pitched seven innings for a second straight start and limited the Blue Jays to three runs.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had success with a homer, double and single, but Garcia was otherwise solid.
For Aaron Boone, it was Garcia’s aggressiveness that stood out.
“Just strike one, dictating the count,” the Yankees manager said. “He probably wasn’t as dominant as he was in Buffalo against them [in his previous start], but that’s a tough lineup to navigate.”
Sanchez caught Garcia for a second time on Tuesday and has noticed considerable growth since he was paired with him during spring training.
“Deivi can execute any pitch and he has four pitches,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “I only caught him a couple times in spring training and it’s a big difference. He’s out there with a lot of confidence. He’s fearless. It feels like he’s been in the league for years.”
He’ll likely need that approach if he does end up pitching in the playoffs.
Garcia figures to get two more starts prior to the playoffs and with the new format eliminating most days off in the postseason, teams will have to rely on more starting pitchers.
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