The Yankees announced a slate of roster moves prior to tonight’s game, most notably designating one-time top pitching prospect Deivi García for assignment and placing lefty Carlos Rodón on the 15-day IL with a strained hamstring. New York also reinstated Jonathan Loáisiga from the 60-day injured list — hence the need for a 40-man spot — and recalled lefty Nick Ramirez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
García was once viewed as a potential mid-rotation arm. The 5’9″ righty appeared among Baseball America’s top 100 prospects going into both 2020 and ’21. He debuted with six starts during the shortened campaign, posting decent strikeout and walk numbers despite an ERA pushing 5.00. At the time, it seemed he was in line for a permanent rotation spot in the near future. At the very least, his high-octane stuff was expected to play out of the bullpen.
Things didn’t play out that way. García was tagged for a 6.85 ERA at Triple-A in 2021. He only made two MLB appearances that season. He followed up with a 6.89 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A the following season. The Yankees abandoned hopes of García as a starter this year, using him in relief for all but one of his 28 minor league appearances.
It hasn’t translated to markedly improved results. The 24-year-old owns a 5.67 ERA through 46 frames with the RailRiders. His 20.5% strikeout percentage is a few points below average and he’s walking almost 15% of batters faced. After three seasons of subpar production in the upper minors, the Yankees no longer feel they can keep giving him opportunities to figure things out.
Since the trade deadline has come and gone, New York will have to place García on waivers. It’s no sure thing he’ll be claimed at this point, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if another club takes a flier on his former prospect status. García still has a reasonably live arm, averaging 94.9 MPH on his heater during a pair of big league appearances this summer. There are clearly significant command issues he’ll need to iron out if he’s to emerge as even a solid middle reliever. García is in his last option season; if another team claims him, they could keep him in Triple-A for the rest of the year but would have to carry him on next year’s big league roster (if he holds a 40-man spot all offseason).
While García’s DFA marks a painful concession by the organization that he hasn’t developed as hoped, the loss of Rodón is clearly a bigger impact in the short term. Fortunately, it’s not expected to be a serious issue. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters it’s a low-grade strain that isn’t expected to keep him out for much longer than the minimum (relayed by Greg Joyce of the New York Post).
Rodón has had a frustrating first season in the Bronx. The two-time All-Star dealt with forearm and back issues that cost him the first half of the year. Since returning, he’s been ineffective through six starts. He owns a 7.33 ERA with a notably decreased 20.5% strikeout rate and lofty 14.8% walk percentage over 27 innings. His velocity remains at the same level as it was when he was dominating hitters with the White Sox and Giants the last two years. The injuries have clearly kept him from finding any kind of consistency to this point in his Yankee tenure though.
Loáisiga has missed over three months after surgery to remove a bone spur from his throwing elbow. He’s been limited to three appearances on the season. When healthy, the 28-year-old righty is one of New York’s better relievers. He racks up huge grounder rates and has a 3.53 career ERA.