New Yankee left-hander Jaime Garcia said Tuesday that when he was a kid growing up in Mexico, his family, and especially his grandfather, were huge Yankees fans, and that the grandfather even predicted back then that Garcia would someday be wearing pinstripes.
“My grandfather was always a huge Yankees fan. He told me when I was a kid that he would see me playing for the Yankees one day. So my mom was very emotional about (the trade) because of that story,” Garcia said at his introductory Yankee press conference, after he got traded from Minnesota to the Bombers. “My grandfather passed away when I was 13-years-old. The family was touched by (the trade) because obviously they’re all Yankees fans. They were very excited – excited for me, excited for this opportunity.”
Bombers manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday and the team confirmed that the lefty Garcia will start Friday in Cleveland, the day after new right-hander Sonny Gray will start the series opener against the Indians. Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino will pitch Saturday and Sunday in Cleveland, respectively, which means the Yankees will go with a six-man rotation at least once. Girardi said he’s leaning against not going with that six-man format for the rest of the season.
“It’s hard to construct a roster. In September, that’s not the case. But it’s hard to construct a roster where you can do that, where you feel that you have enough pitching in your bullpen. That’s the problem with (a six-man rotation),” said Girardi.
Garcia said he’s focused on the next start only, and not whether he could be used in the bullpen if Girardi sticks with his five-man rotation plan – which now shapes up to be Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery.
“I was told when the trade happened (with Minnesota), they called me, I was told I may be starting. Then when I got (to Yankee Stadium) today, I was told that I was going to making the start in Cleveland,” said Garcia. “Like I said, I’m 100 percent focused on that one start. I take my deal one start at a time. I don’t focus on anything else that’s out of my control.”
CASTRO CAN’T (YET)
Girardi said second baseman Starlin Castro, on the DL since July 23 with a strained right hamstring, is “still some time away” from returning to the club. “He’s making progress, but he’s not running yet. He’s not running so we can’t tell exactly where he is,” said Girardi of Castro. “The hamstring feels better. He’s doing some exercises and he feels better. We’re still some time away. We’ve got to make the thing’s healthy and it doesn’t happen again.”