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TAMPA — Deivi Garcia called it a “frustrating” outing, one in which the right-hander gave up four runs, seven hits, a pair of homers and two walks in just three-plus innings.
The velocity on his fastball was down a tick, but Garcia said he felt “fine.”
But it’s becoming more and more evident that the Yankees — and probably the 21-year-old — will be better served with him at the alternate site in Scranton to start the season.
Manager Aaron Boone said Domingo German was due to make one more Grapefruit League start before the end of spring training, and he has continued to shine in camp, while Garcia’s performance in a 5-0 loss to the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field was his third straight in which he’s battled his control.
Over those three outings, Garcia has walked eight in just nine innings and struck out six.
“What could be frustrating is when you physically feel really good, feel you have energy and feel great to go out and do the job, and then [you don’t] execute the pitches the way you want,” Garcia said through an interpreter.
That was especially true with his fastball, but Boone also noted his breaking balls lacked their usual “bite.”
One AL scout said Garcia looked “tired,” but wasn’t alarmed.
“He hasn’t had a lot of experience at this level and coming off last year, it’s hard to read where guys should be,’’ the scout said. “You can see the stuff is still there. He’s just not where he needs to be yet.”
German, as Boone has said, has “looked the part.” But regardless of how the Yankees construct their rotation — and entire pitching staff — early on, Garcia will have a role to play in The Bronx and admitted he still has some growing to do.
He was disappointed in his inability to make the proper adjustments once it was clear his repertoire wasn’t working.
Garcia allowed an opposite-field homer to Bo Bichette on an 0-2 count in the first, then a long, two-run homer off the batters’ eye in dead center to Teoscar Hernandez in the third.
“The adjustment I was trying to make was not to be too fine,’’ Garcia said. “Just execute some pitches and find a rhythm to put together a string of good [pitches].”
It didn’t happen during the 67-pitch outing, during which Garcia threw just 37 strikes.
Despite the command and “life” issues, Boone said Garcia is “in a pretty good spot.”
“His delivery is a little unique, and he’s done a good job tightening that up and controlling that and ultimately allowing him to repeat it,’’ Boone said.
Boone pointed to Garcia’s “twisting” delivery as something that can be useful to deceive hitters, but also easy to “get out of whack.”
And that hurts his command.
Garcia called it “an internal battle” and believed he’d learn from his recent woes.
In some ways, they can be expected, since he’s thrown just 35 ¹/₃ innings in the majors — including the playoffs — and 40 innings at Triple-A.
The Yankees can likely afford to let Garcia continue to develop — at least for a while — at the alternate site, though Boone has said he would be OK with Garcia honing his craft in the majors.
But the Yankees’ rotation has looked solid, and healthy, with just over a week left before Opening Day, which would allow them the luxury of delaying his move to The Bronx to help limit his workload.
And he’s not putting much thought into whatever competition might remain for the rotation.
“I have really talented teammates,’’ Garcia said. “For me, it’s always about doing my job and giving the best I have. Every outing, I’ve gone out and given the best I have. That’s really the focus for me. I focus on my job.”
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