Good afternoon everyone, let’s open up the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Darth_Lazarus asks: Keith Law did an interview where he talked about Deivi Garcia’s delivery being completely different this season and that someone in the organization “f-d up his delivery”. Any idea if this is true? Obviously something is really wrong with this kid right now.
It would be a simple explanation for how Garcia has imploded so spectacularly this season. Aaron Boone was asked recently about Garcia’s slide, and mostly pointed to growing pains and an expectation that things would come easier to him after making the bigs being shattered by reality. Obviously, that doesn’t address Garcia’s delivery at all, but you’d be hard pressed to find an outright answer from the team on that subject.
What we do know is that Garcia’s worst qualities have been magnified to the extreme this year — he’s walked 43 batters in just 59 innings at Triple-A Scranton, and he’s given up 17 homers in the process. That’s a 6.6 BB/9 and 2.6 HR/9 rate, which ... is going to move you down on the totem pole of options to start, even in a decimated rotation like New York’s currently.
It is odd to me that Garcia has dealt with such a terrible season and the organization is drawing notoriety for this apparent mishandling when the rest of the minor league system seems to be thriving. Perhaps the Yankees tried to bring Garcia in line with their other pitchers, and in course-correcting managed to throw him completely off his rhythm, or maybe it is like Boone outlined and Garcia is just enduring a 99th percentile sophomore slump. There’s not enough information to definitively say either way, but right now it appears that Garcia is in line to be the team’s next Chance Adams instead of Luis Severino.
Edward L. asks: Why has Adam Warren been in Scranton all year? The team is always looking for pitchers of quality. They have one. Why not bring him up?
Warren has had a smoke and mirrors-type of season down in Scranton. His ERA is an impressive 2.87, but his FIP is a less-attractive 4.53, indicating that he’s getting bailed out quite a bit by Scranton’s promising defense. It gets even worse if you look at his xFIP, which is a ballooned 5.59, meaning he’s getting particularly lucky that the high rate of fly balls he’s been allowing have stayed in the yard. If the bullpen situation in the Bronx breaks down to the point of considering recalling Nick Nelson again, maybe you could argue for Warren instead, but in general he hasn’t been impressive enough to deserve another stint in the majors.
MSP Giant asks: Yankees, IMO, need to move Torres back to second base. Do they really need to trade for a shortstop? Could one of their shortstops in the minors conceivably play shortstop next season in the Bronx?
Not to start next season, but the development that players like Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe have taken this year does make this an interesting question to consider. The Yankees were clearly trying for Trevor Story at the deadline, and are considered frontrunners for his services in free agency this offseason, but they now have a bit of a safety net should they not get his services thanks to the farm progressing so rapidly.
Even if you were to assume that Anthony Rizzo is a pure rental and won’t return for 2022 — something I’m not so certain about right now — the infield situation is a bit rigid at the major-league level. If you want Gleyber Torres at second, that means DJ LeMahieu either has to play first base or fill the super-utility role he was originally signed for. Realistically only one more infielder fits into the plan without requiring more subtraction, and keeping that spot open for a top 50 prospect that’s still got time to rise further is enticing.
The difficult part of the equation is the timing of the situation. The Yankees will have the opportunity to find a start talent on the market this offseason, but they won’t know how quickly Volpe (or Peraza) could accelerate their ETAs until next year gets underway. It’s possible that one or even both of them earn a promotion this season, but there’s not many games left for there to be a meaningful sample size even if that happens. It’s very difficult to argue against adding talent that has already performed at a high level, so we’ll have to wait and see how involved Brian Cashman gets with this upcoming class of free agents.