April 21, 2021

Position battles, Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton return (New York Post)


The Post’s Yankees beat writer George A. King III breaks down all the angles as the Bombers get set to open spring training.

Best position battle

Until James Paxton underwent back surgery on Wednesday, third base was the only position where a legitimate competition was going to be held, between Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar.

Now, with Paxton out possibly through May, there is a rotation spot to be won, and the field is deep. Jordan Montgomery is the early favorite, but he will be pushed by Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa and Mike King. Top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia is in his first big league camp, but is a long shot to start the season in the big leagues.

Most intriguing minor leaguer

Despite an injury-filled past two seasons, center fielder Estevan Florial remains intriguing to many because of his ceiling. The 20-year-old Garcia, however, is the pick here after dominating at Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton before scuffling at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. The 5-foot-9, 163 pound right-hander is a big part of the future — since Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and Paxton will be eligible for free agency after the upcoming season.

Story to watch…

Read “Position battles, Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton return” at New York Post