On Sunday, the New York Yankees demoted right-hander Nick Nelson to the alternate site following a loss against Cleveland. The Yankees waited until Monday to announce the corresponding move, promoting right-hander Deivi García to the majors to start in the series-opening game against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.
García will be making his season debut. He lost a spring competition for the fifth starter’s job to Domingo Germán, ensuring that he would open the year at the alternate site. Even when the Yankees optioned Germán for a spell earlier this month, they bypassed García in favor of a Nelson “open,” with Michael King then pitching in bulk.
During his time at the alternate site, García altered his grip on his breaking ball to turn it into a slider. “I did want to focus a little bit on my slider,” he told reporters, including Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. “It’s a pitch I like and I’ve been using and wanted to just get better with it and see what situations in the game I can use it.”
García made six starts for the Yankees last season, posting a 4.98 ERA (85 ERA+) and 5.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the process. He figures to play a more important role for New York’s pitching staff down the stretch, either as a starter or reliever.
The Yankees, 9-12 on the season, enter Monday night’s game tied with Baltimore for last place in the American League East.