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New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga would have been the teams primary fifth starter had the season begun on time, according to pitching coach Matt Blake. Injuries and a Domingo German suspension left the Yankees with holes in their starting rotation, and a strong spring from Loaisiga had him in line to win a job in the rotation. A delayed season has allowed James Paxton(back) to get healthy and bump Loaisiga out of the rotation, though, so Loaisiga is now likely to be the next man up should the Yankees need another starting pitcher midseason. Loaisiga owns an unimpressive career 4.79 ERA, but a high 28.3% strikeout rate and strong spring training command (one walk over 10 innings) give the 25-year-old some upside and make him a potential DFS play if he starts.
New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (back) is continuing to recover from back surgery at home, and pitching coach Matt Blake indicated that Paxton has been progressing well. Paxton hopes to be ready for game action as soon as mid-May, and the recent update suggests that hell be healthy enough to pitch in games by June at the latest. At this point, it seems likely that Paxton will be ready by the start of the regular season (whenever that is), so fantasy owners should expect to get a full season out of the 31-year-old in 2020.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German was suspended for 81 games under MLBs domestic-violence policy last season, of which he served 18 games. According to the recent agreement between the MLB and the MLB Players Associations, German will be suspended for as many games as the schedule allows for in 2020, up to the 63 needed to fulfill his entire suspension. Most importantly, if the 2020 MLB season is less than 63 games, the suspension will not carry over into 2021. Germans suspension makes him close to a non-factor in 2020, as the season is likely to be shortened. Fantasy owners should expect German to start in fewer than 10 games in 2020, making him more useful in dynasty and DFS leagues than anything else.
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone shut down suggestions of outfielder Aaron Judge (ribs) moving to first base. Judge has played in only 214 games over the past two seasons and entered spring training with a stress fracture in his rib this year, so a switch to first base may be a way to keep the power-hitting outfielder in the lineup. Even with Judges injury history, Boone has little incentive to move Judge though, as the 27-year-old is a top-15 defensive outfielder by outs above average. Since Judges excellent defense is likely the primary driver behind Boones response to a potential position change, the fantasy implication of this is that fantasy owners should not expect Judge to gain eligibility at first base in 2020.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia was optioned to Double-A on Thursday. Garcia had been competing for a rotation spot in the wake of injuries to James Paxton and Luis Severino, but struggled in three spring training starts with a 7.36 ERA. A consensus top-100 prospect, Garcia finished last season at Triple-A, where he racked up 45 strikeouts over 40 innings. Still, Garcia is just 20 years old and struggles with command (4.4 BB/9 last year), so additional minor league experience should be useful. Depending on how the MLB schedule is structured, Garcia could make his major league debut as soon as this season. Garcias strong strikeout ability should have him on the radar of all fantasy owners, but his uncertain call-up date makes him more of a factor in dynasty leagues.