García learning in camp; Dominguez's build

February 19th, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. -- fulfilled one of his childhood dreams this past offseason, buttoning a blue Licey Tigres jersey and taking the ball for three starts in the Dominican Winter League. He hopes that experience will help him vault back into the Yankees' rotation this spring.

"It was very exciting," García said through an interpreter. "My family, my neighbors, pretty much everybody from where I'm from wanted to see me pitch for them. I was able to do that and it was a great experience. That's going to help me develop even more. It was great."

García permitted five earned runs over six innings (7.50 ERA) for Licey, following a successful debut campaign in which the 21-year-old worked to a 3-2 record and a 4.98 ERA in six regular-season starts. García also drew an opening assignment in Game 2 of the American League Division Series vs. the Rays.

Entering the spring as a contender for the Yanks' final rotation slot, García said that his focus is upon improving the sharpness of all four of his pitches -- four-seam fastball, changeup, curveball and slider. García said that he also wants to practice his ability to read hitters' swings.

"I feel really good," García said. "Thank God for that. Just being around here, I have the opportunity to keep learning so much, being around all the teammates we have in camp. I think it's a great opportunity to keep on moving forward in my career and take the next steps."

My favorite 'Martian'
Even before taking his first professional at-bat, Jasson Dominguez has become one of the most talked-about prospects in all of baseball. Yankees camp is no exception, where players buzz about an 18-year-old switch-hitter who has drawn physical comparisons to Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout.

"He's a great kid," said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who met Dominguez during a 2019 trip to the Dominican Republic. "The day I was with them, he was taking batting practice with Gary [Sánchez] and [Miguel Andújar]. He was looking the part.

"He's a very physical kid, a lot of tremendous physical attributes. It looks like the makeup is really good on him as well. I do look forward to him starting to build some game-playing experience and creating his own path."

Look, ma -- pinstripes!
Jameson Taillon allowed himself a few extra beats this week, eyeing the pinstriped pants issued for spring workouts. It's only half the uniform that his teammates will don on Opening Day, but the right-hander saw fit to document the moment.

"The Yankees pinstripes are special," Taillon said. "Every sports fan knows what the Yankees pinstripes are. Even just sitting at my locker, I took a picture of my pants. I thought it was so cool. I didn't know how it was going to feel until I actually got here. You start feeling like part of the team."

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Taillon said that he sent the photo to several family members via a group text message.

"My parents just wanted an update to know that I'm here and meeting people and making friends," said Taillon, who was acquired from the Pirates in January. "Being healthy and ready to contribute to a winning team and franchise definitely has me feeling pretty amped up."

Fuelin' up
Friday's side sessions inside the "gas station," the Yanks' high-tech pitching lab at the player development complex, included Gerrit Cole throwing to Sánchez. Jordan Montgomery working with Kyle Higashioka, while Domingo Germán tossing to Robinson Chirinos.

Germán looked "pretty crisp," according to pitching coach Matt Blake, who said that the right-hander seems to be ahead of where the team would have anticipated. Germán has not pitched professionally since September 2019 due to a suspension for violating baseball's domestic violence policy.

"I spent a little bit of time trying to get to know what he was about this offseason, when he was playing winter ball," Blake said. "The nature of the winter ball environment and the information we get, it's obviously not the full picture we get when he's in person and in our environment. I've been really happy with the quality of [Germán's] work."

Other hurlers scheduled to see mound time included Kyle Barraclough, Luis Cessa, Jhoulys Chacin, Nestor Cortes Jr., Brooks Kriske, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lucas Luetge, Tyler Lyons, Nick Nelson and Addison Russ.

Bombers bits
• Jonathan Loaisiga is being viewed as a reliever this spring, according to Boone, who said that the right-hander could offer versatility by providing high-leverage innings or length.

• Gio Urshela continued on-field hitting drills and played catch on Friday. The third baseman is recovering from offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

Up next
The Yankees' pitchers and catchers will work out again on Saturday at the player development complex. Workouts are closed to the public.