Rookie to make Yankees history in G2 start

October 5th, 2020

's brief big league career has been notable for his unflappable confidence, and the Yankees believe that quality will serve the right-hander well on Tuesday as he becomes the youngest postseason starting pitcher in franchise history.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone will hand the ball to the 21-year-old García for Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Rays at Petco Park. Boone said that right-hander will start Game 3.

“I was hoping for an opportunity to get into in a game like this at this level, especially now in the playoffs,” García said. “Competing is exciting. I’m going to be facing a team that’s very good, very competitive. That level of competition brings out the best in me.”

At 21 years and 140 days, García will be younger than Hall of Famer Whitey Ford (21 years, 351 days) was in Game 4 of the 1950 World Series against the Phillies. García will be the youngest starting pitcher for any team in the postseason since the Dodgers’ Julio Urías (20 years, 69 days) in Game 4 of the 2016 NL Championship Series against the Cubs.

“He just has a way about him, that demeanor, where he’s not real affected,” Boone said. “I feel really good that he’ll be able to handle whatever the results are. I feel like he’ll be fine.”

Rated as the Yankees’ No. 2 pitching prospect by MLB Pipeline, García was 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA in six starts (34 1/3 innings) this season. He has not faced Tampa Bay, but Boone said that García impressed with a gem on Sept. 9 against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, N.Y., snapping a losing streak by registering his first Major League win.

“Being here and being around the guys, I’m learning every day,” García said. “You kind of know that at some point, you’re going to get a chance to get in the game and help the team somehow.”

Boone said he continues to expect that left-handers and will “play really important roles” in the ALDS. Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake informed García of the assignment on Monday afternoon.

“It means a lot to me,” García said. “It’s a moment that has brought me a lot of excitement. My family is going to be watching from the Dominican Republic and will be supporting me from over there. It means a lot to get the ball in such an important game.”