Because of the roster freeze now in effect across MLB, Bryan Hoch is reporting that the Yankees have sent four players from major league camp to the minors. They include Michael King, Thairo Estrada, Ben Heller and Deivi Garcia.
One reason you saw teams optioning players in the past few days is because this agreement will put in place a transaction freeze until further notice. So no options, trades, signing players, etc.
King, featured in an interview last season in a Bronx Pinstripes Show podcast episode, hurled the rawhide to the tune of a 3-2 record in 11 games (8 starts), 5.48 ERA, and 44 strikeouts in 46 innings. He would add 0 ER in 2 innings for the Yankees in a late season call-up. In spring training, he had a 3.86 ERA in 9 1/3 innings, and the Yankees consider him a call-up possibility again later this season. He is being optioned to Scranton.
This dude is developing and developing fast. No knock on Sheffield, but I won’t be surprised if Michael King has a better career than him. pic.twitter.com/rRXdrcHRaf
Ben Heller pitched in 11 games for Tampa and Scranton in 2019, with a combined 0.66 ERA and 15 SO in 13.2 innings. As a late-season call-up, he had a 1.23 ERA and 9 SO in 7.1 innings for the big club. Heller had a rough start to spring training in 2020, giving up two runs, two hits, and a walk in 2/3 inning. He had been under consideration for an opening day bullpen roster spot, but will begin the season in Scranton.
Garcia, the most touted of the group, became known to Yankee fans with a great summer in the minors. He cruised through the Florida State League and Eastern League with 120 SO in 71 1/3 innings. Garcia struggled some when September hit and went to AAA but still had 45 SO in 40 innings. He pitched to a 7.36 ERA in 7 1/3 innings this spring.
Garcia, who is very close to being MLB ready, will head to Trenton. The Yankees had three roster spots left in Scranton, and those went to the guys mentioned above who have major league service time. It’s still very possible we see Garcia in the Bronx this season — if there is one.