Deivi Garcia will start Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Masahiro Tanaka will pitch Game 3.
Masahiro Tanaka, whom many expected to start, will instead take the mound for the subsequent Game 3.
Deivi Garcia will be the #Yankees' Game 2 starter. Masahiro Tanaka in Game 3.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 5, 2020
It’s likely that the Yankees are taking this route to leave Tanaka for a potential elimination or series-clinching game. This is a best-of-five series, and if the Yankees lose the first two matchups, they’ll need Tanaka to help them stay afloat.
If they win the first two, Tanaka will look to wrap things up and help his team move on to the American League Championship Series.
Garcia, 21, clearly has the stuff and portrayed a great deal of promise in his inaugural major league season.
In six starts, he allowed 19 earned runs for a measly 4.98 ERA. Nonetheless, he struck out 33 batters and walked just six, as well as recorded an above-average FIP of 4.15 and solid WHIP of 1.194.
Garcia getting the start might concern some fans due to his young age and general inexperience at the big league level. However, the Yankees starting rotation is anemic.
The other option would be J.A. Happ, who’s actually been pretty decent this year. The Yankees are choosing to put their trust in the young Garcia though, and I’m sure many fans would agree with the decision, even reluctantly so.