No comeback this time: Yankees unable to rally following Freddy’s latest dud

Campos rocked, Austin homers twice in win
Josh Norris chats with Rick Down

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees are lucky the season is only 20 games old because they have some very serious starting pitching problems and will need plenty of time to sort this mess out. Here’s a recap of the latest starting pitching embarrassment/game…

  • Unacceptable: Freddy Garcia can’t make another start for the Yankees, at least not anytime soon. It’s that simple. They didn’t take advantage of Thursday’s off day by skipping him and were rewarded with a six-run, five-out start. You don’t get to keep your job with a 12.51 ERA after four starts, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing this or how gritty of a veteran you are. Thanks for last year Freddy, but you’re of no use to the team now.
  • The Answer: The obvious candidate to take Garcia’s place is David Phelps, who faced the minimum in three scoreless innings of work and only threw 31 pitches in this game. I would have liked to see him throw a few more innings to build up that pitch count, though he did just throw 53 pitches on Wednesday. Probably have to save him for the inevitable Phil Hughes disaster on Tuesday.
  • Smyly Frowny Face: While Freddy was busy getting his brains beat in, lefty Drew Smyly was busy shutting the Yankees’ offense down. He gave up a solo homer to Nick Swisher in the first, then retired 18 of the next 20 he faced before Alex Rodriguez ended his afternoon with a leadoff single in the seventh. Smyly struck out seven, walked two, and allowed just the two hits. He got his first career win in Yankee Stadium, which is pretty cool.
  • Late Rally: The Yankees would not be denied though. They tagged the Detroit bullpen for four runs in three innings, including three off Jose Valverde. Despite being down six runs at one point, they managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Eric Chavez juuust missed a game-tying homer, at least in terms of his swing. The ball landed in Don Kelly’s glove about ten feet shy of the wall. I always appreciate a late-inning rally, even if they lose. It’s good to show some fight and make the other club sweat, especially since the game looked over after two innings.
  • Leftovers: I can only assume Cody Eppley will be sent to Triple-A in favor of a fresh arm after throwing three effective innings — the one run allowed was a solo homer to Miguel Cabrera, which is completely forgivable — and 37 pitches on Saturday afternoon, I just don’t know who would come up, there’s no obvious candidate … Swisher hit solo homers from each side of the plate, the 11th time he’s done that in his career. Only Mark Teixeira (13) has homered from both side of the plate on more occasions in baseball history … Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer off Phil Coke, his first against a lefty this year. And yes, Coke pointed at it like it a playable fly ball. has the box score and video lowlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. CC Sabathia will start the rubber game of this series against Max Scherzer on Sunday afternoon, and the Yankees really need him to come through with a strong outing. Lots of quality innings, please. RAB Tickets can get you into the park on the cheap if you feel like heading up to the Bronx.

Campos rocked, Austin homers twice in win
Josh Norris chats with Rick Down
  • forensic

    The line for the cumulative batters that Garcia has faced this year is hitting over .400 and is just a slight step below 1941 Ted Williams. That’s pretty hard to do.

    • marty

      freddy out performed himself last year somehow, he’s insulting all junk ball pitchers now

  • forensic

    Just put Garcia on the DL with whiplash from flinging his head around after every demolished hit…

  • Tom Zig

    Who is worse 2009 Chien-Ming Wang, 2010 Javy Vaquez, or 2012 Fredy Garcia

    • Need Pitching

      2010 Vazquez >> 2009 Wang > 2012 Garcia

      • Mister D

        I’d say Wanger was worse simply because he was terrible over so many more innings.

        • Need Pitching

          just need to give Freddy more starts

          (please don’t)

          • jayd808

            When you’ve given someone 4 mill to pitch, you don’t throw him under the bus after a couple of bad starts. If Sabathia started to suck you would see the same response but even longer. These are professionals who are supposed to be able to work things out with their mechanics and their bodies. Calling it “unacceptable” completely misses the point.

            “Unacceptable” is that nitwit Delmon Young. Freddy Garcia gets my sympathy. I suffer with him and it saddens me.

            I used to have a manager that flung that word around all the time. People would bust ass and she would sit back and say, “This is unacceptable,” all the while knowing it was the pressures she caused from her impossible deadlines that resulted in the poor work. She was a judgmental a-hole and so are you.

            Learn how to use words properly. Your writing is unacceptable, Mike.

    • forensic

      Vazquez was bad, but was nowhere near as bad as those other two.

      • DT

        Javy had a nice stretch of games where he was our best pitcher before the dead arm kicked in.

  • flamingo

    And I remember thinking that the Yankees could easily trade Garcia before the season started… wishful thinking.

  • Marcus

    Why do pitchers even do that point in the air thing on pop flies? I think the fielders are capable of judging it on their own.

    • JMK

      You dare question Phil Coke?

  • tipsie

    That’s 26 first inning runs in 20 games. Brutal. Mitchell up tomorrow as long man, Phelps starts next week? CC – Hiroki – Phil (crikey) – Nova – Phelps (@ KC)?

    • forensic

      I know Phelps has been pitching in the majors, so he knows a little more what’s going on. But I’d almost rather start Mitchell than him if he’s getting a call-up. He’s more stretched out than Phelps at this point and Phelps already knows what he’s doing in the pen as far as warming up and stuff.

      Either way is fine, but why mess with two guys current roles when you don’t really have to mess with either?

      • Need Pitching

        problem is I believe Mitchell is lined up to pitch Sunday. If he still made that start, he would be on short rest for Freddy’s next start. If he doesn’t make that start, he would be on 8 days rest for Freddy’s start. Neither is really ideal. I would think Phelps is probably stretched enough to go 5 innings if he isn’t terribly inefficient. That should be good enough considering the Yankees are still carrying an extra reliever, and CC would be starting the next day.

        • forensic

          Yeah, that is an issue. Like I said, either is fine, as long as the starting pitchers last name isn’t Garcia I won’t really mind much either way.

          • Need Pitching


        • CC

          78,66,53 and 32 are Phelps pitch counts his last 4 outings. It’s hard to believe Girardi would let Phelps throw 80-100 pitches even with 5 days rest.

          “I just don’t know who would come up, there’s no obvious candidate.”

          The ONLY obvious candidate is DJ Mitchell. He’s ready to go and has been pitching well. It would help if Mitchell came up, threw a BP session to settle in, and not just thrown to the wolves for his MLB debut.

          • Need Pitching

            I would think 75-85 pitches would be in the realm of possibility, if he was on full rest, which would give him about 5 innings if he is reasonably efficient.

  • Accent Shallow

    Good Lord, I do not miss Coke.

    For that exact reason, too.

  • Jamey

    If I was writing the checks I’d have gone with a return for Colon over one for Freddy. I can understand why the front office thought differently though. Pettitte on the way, & hopefully Hughes’ latest disaster is the kick in the ass he needs.

  • pistol pete

    A week before the end of March we had 6 starters with Andy lurking and were trying to figure the two odd men out. Fast forward a month and we have only three starters left with Andy still lurking. CC Kuroda Nova and Andy are the only legit starters left and someone needs to be promoted for the No 5. Who would have ever thought we’d be hoping we still had AJ. Can’t start Freddy or Hughes again not just because they’re horrible but because they’re killing the bullpen. I think Hughes still has value in the pen. He’s really good for an inningor two at hte most. Freddy has no value and should be released. Hard to believe he’s lost it all at once but it sure looks like it. Yanks will survive this the lineup is deep and the division has parity.

  • forensic

    Henry Rodriguez apparently just threw a pitch 104 mph for the Nationals. Of course, along with that came 3 wild pitches in the inning, one of which allowed the tying run to score with 2 outs in the 9th and another which allowed a batter who struck out to reach 1st and keep the 9th alive.

  • StanfordBen

    Actually, the biggest positive about the 9th inning rally was probably getting Valverde’s pitch count up there. After 31 pitches, they’re less likely to use him and he’s less likely to be effective on Sunday.

    • forensic

      Eh, before today he had 5 days off. Also, three outings ago he threw 30 pitches and pitched the next day again and was his normal self.

      Just get through the game with a lead and leave him sitting out in the bullpen either way.

  • Dino Velvet

    Bartolo Colon and his 2.62 ERA and 4.2 K/bb says Hello

    • Bunt Gardner

      His nearly 5 ERA and 3k/bb from the second half of last season waves back.

      • Dino Velvet

        he pulled his groin, went on the DL, and came back and pitched even thought he wasn’t healed.

        at $2 million what harm would it done bring him back.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Agreed. I wanted him re-signed.

        • Rookie

          The 2.82 ERA, .93 WHIP, .209 BAA, and .560 OPS against are impressive enough.

          But excluding his one bad start on April 7th when he give up 7 earned runs in 4-1/3 innings, I figure he’s given up a grand total of 17 hits, 5 walks, and 3 earned runs in his other 30 innings pitched. So he’s managed an ERA of 0.90 and a WHIP of .567 in the rest of his starts!

          As I’ve posted more than once, I didn’t and don’t understand why the Yankees didn’t baby Colon last year and do everything possible to maximize the odds that he would still be pitching lights out come October. Not only would that have been (very clearly, I think) smart for the Yankees, but it was the right thing to do for Colon and his then-recently-surgically-repaired shoulder.

          I don’t want to think about the prospect of us facing a babied, rested, and healthy Colon in the post season, although at a certain level it would be justice served and a reminder of what could have (maybe even should have) been.

          P.S. If the Yankees knew/believed that what sidelined him last year was his groin and not his shoulder – which, by the way, I didn’t know – I don’t understand why they didn’t try to resign him.

    • Jesse

      Everyone’s a genius after the fact.

    • forensic

      I still, and will always, fail to understand why these things are posted every Garcia start. It’s not like a gun was put to Cashman’s head and he head to sign either of them.

      I hate how this organization seems to see AAA pitchers as radioactive and avoids them at all costs. At least if one of them did this, you would learn something about the future. Now, what have you learned? Absolutely nothing except what was very predictable as soon as he signed.

      • jjyank

        Agreed on your first point there. It’s annoying. Like how any time Pineda is mentioned, someone has to post Montero’s stat line of the day. Only this time there is even less of a link.

        Look, everyone needs to stop posting Bart’s numbers like Cashman is some sort of moron for not choosing him over Freddy. If you disagreed with it at the time, that’s fine. But there were serious questions about Colon’s viability for 2012 after last year. He wasn’t even good enough to be carried in the bullpen of the post-season roster. After a many years out of the league, it sure seemed like this was a scenario where the Yanks caught lightning in a bottle for a year and moved on. Being a hindsight GM is just obnoxious.

  • Michael

    I have known Smyly since I was a kid, we played baseball in the same league and were buddies in High School. As much as it was disappointing to lose this game, I’m really happy for Drew, especially that his first win came in Yankee stadium, despite having 3 solid previous outings. Having said that I am really ready for the rubber match tomorrow and hope that CC can be the rock we have come to expect since 09′.

    • Rookie

      Cool. In his brief minor league career, he’s posted some very impressive numbers. It would not surprise me, if he can stay healthy, if he winds up doing very well in the majors, too.

  • tipsie

    By the way, was anyone else steamed at Cano and Tex in the ninth today? Down 7-3 after Swish’s homer, Cano swings at a 1-0 pitch. After an Arod walk, and ahead on the count 2-0 (and DOWN 4 RUNS), Tex swings and pops up. I don’t get it. Someone give a take sign please. Cano’s also swinging like it’s 2008. Better tell him this is not the correct way to get a contract extension.

    • hogsmog

      Although it is the correct way to give the Yankees a deal on that next contract.

    • toad

      Maybe they liked the pitches they swung at. Doesn’t always work.

  • Jesse

    Have no idea what the Yanks will do with Garcia at this point. Will they give him another start? (I sure as hell hope not, and by Girardi’s tone in the postgame presser it sounds like he’s really considering not starting him next time around) I’d assume that David Phelps would get the start, which would be nice. He’s shown some good, young life thus far and deserves a chance. When Andy Pettitte comes back will Garcia be DFA’d? Will they just stash him in the bullpen and let him rot? Not sure they can get much of anything via trade, but I suppose it’s worth a shot trying to shop him around for at least something…

  • SevenAces

    Is there anyone who still thinks that some of the triple A arms (besides the 2 remaining Bs) can potentially be just as bad as Garcia if they pitched a game in the majors and are against it?

    With Garcia, what we see now is WHAT WE GET. Let’s stop thinking and reminiscing about what he did last season. It’s over for him.

    With any of the younger arms, there is a chance for them to potentially pitch just as bad. BUT we can’t ignore the fact that they can ALSO pitch better. So why the heck not? Instead of peddling him out there to throw BP to the opposing team, give Phelps a stinking chance. You can’t judge something until you’ve tried it.

  • ryanm

    Can pitchfx explain whats wrong with garcia? His velo is consistent with last yr. Why isnt he getting the same movement. Would love a post on this.

    • Jesse

      I believe PitchFx includes release points and stuff like that. Maybe you can find something there.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I remember getting blasted for saying Garcia is league average. I mean I’m not pretending I foresaw this disaster but seriously he had a good and lucky year. He was supposed to be break in case of emergency but he can’t do this anymore.

    • V

      Um, Garcia is not putting up league average numbers.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Yeah, really. What I wouldn’t give for league-average Garcia right now. The 2012 version of Freddy makes last year’s look like Roy Halladay.

  • sangreal

    I’ve been a pretty big defender of Garcia (and Hughes), but at this point he needs to go. He is at Gaudin territory this season. I don’t think there is even a place for him in the bullpen

  • Brian S.

    The White Sox and Twins can blow me.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      That’s 50 guys, not counting front office. Won’t you get tired and, if not, maybe you’re in the wrong line of business?

  • Duh Innings

    Phelps should replace Garcia in the rotation, but a word of caution:

    Just because Phelps can’t possibly pitch as badly as Garcia has so far in 2012 doesn’t mean Phelps will pitch well enough to stay in the rotation. The Yanks must replace Garcia with someone who will stick the entire year, not just be good for 5-10 starts, unless they want to constantly fill the job. If Phelps stinks, too, the Yanks will have to replace him, too, and that replacement would most likely have to be D.J. Mitchell, Garcia given a second chance, or whoever the Yanks trade Garcia for if they could swap him for another starter. If it’s Pettitte, that means Hughes has to remain in the rotation as Nova and Kuroda are going nowhere (or Kuroda isn’t going anywhere anytime soon if at all as whoever trades for him would owe him $10M minus what he’d have been paid up until the trade.)

    I think the Yanks should give Phelps the month of May and if he doesn’t get the job done, he should return to the bullpen and be replaced in the rotation by D.J. Mitchell who gets June. If Pettitte returns and Phelps does well as a starter, Phelps should stay in the rotation and Hughes should be sent down to AAA.

    The Yanks should also sign Roy Oswalt on June 1st at the latest regardless of how Phelps does in May. This way Oswalt could have an extended spring training and either join the Yanks whenever before the All-Star break or right after it as the replacement for Mitchell, Phelps, or Hughes (assuming the front four in July would be Sabathia / Pettitte/ Nova / Kuroda.)

    If Hughes is bad on Tuesday, he should be replaced by Mitchell who could hold down the slot until Pettitte joins the team or keeps it if he outpitches Phelps (Sabathia / Pettitte / Nova / Kuroda / Mitchell or Phelps.)

    Spare me the “The Yanks should’ve kept Bartolo Colon” nonsense as NO ONE expected him to continue to pitch well this season let alone pitch well beyond 5-10 starts if that last. Like someone posted, Colon was 5+ ERA bad the rest of the way and was looking like someone who would hae been closer to that in 2012 than a below 3 ERA starter he’s been so far in 2012. Also it’s only April – do not be surprised if Colon goes downhill from here. Lots of marginal players get off to good starts only to show why they are marginal as time goes on. Even entire marginal teams get off to good starts e.g. Baltimore who will begin to suck sometime before or in June and that’s if they keep playing well until then – a big “if”.

    The Yanks are a strong 11-9 because imagine if Garcia and Hughes pitched better. I think the Yanks would be at least 13-7 right now if the entire rotation was pitching well, 14-6 if Kuroda had pitched a little better. I also think CC will restore order and be a big part if not the main reason why the Yanks will take two out of three against Detroit later today.

    One really nice thing the Yanks hae going for them despite their rotation woes (really their Garcia-And-Hughes woes) is a light May schedule where the only really good teams the Yanks will face are the Rays and Angels for three games each. They have FIVE games vs. the Os, SEVEN vs. the Royals, 3 vs. the Mariners, and 3 vs. the As for EIGHTEEN games against teams who finished in last place or towards the bottom of their divisions last season. After May, the Yanks have Round 2 with Detroit at Comerica to start June.

    • forensic

      Before I even read the whole thing, I’d just like to say: WOW!!!

    • jjyank

      I pretty much agree with all of this.

    • TomH

      The Jays for 2 games, mid-July. They’re not pushovers for the Yankees, especially in that homer-happy park of theirs.

  • Duh Innings

    Oh yeah – 3 vs. the Reds and 2 vs. the Blue Jays in May, too. I’m shaking.

  • Duh Innings

    Make it TWENTY games vs. teams who finished last or towards the bottom of their divisions last season with the 2 vs. Toronto. The best team among these teams last season was Toronto who finished .500, so the only teams the Yanks will draw in May who finished with .500 or better records last season are the Rays, Angels, and Blue Jays where only the former two finished better than .500.

    King Felix, Romero, Good Weaver, Haren, C.J. Wilson, Shields, Price, and Hellickson will be the toughest cookies. Hopefully CC could draw three of them, Nova two, and the offense hits in the other three games.
    I’d be thrilled with 4-4 or 5-3 vs. these eight.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    If I had something to say I’d DFA Garcia, call up Mitchell or Warren as the long man and put Phelps in the rotation. If Hughes can’t figure it out I’d put him in the pen and Mitchell/Warren in the rotation until Pettitte is ready.

    btw: we allowed so many 1st inning runs this year, it’s unbelievable. The 1st inning ERA has to be in (or close to) double digits.

  • Russ

    This is one of the worst stretches of awful starting pitching ( at least to begin a season) I think I have ever seen from the Yankees , and I have been watching them for almost 40 years (some pretty bad teams in there). What makes it even worse it how good the bullpen has been.

  • Kosmo

    Yanks might have to shop outside the org. for SP:
    come to mind.
    All have pitched well up to now and I´d speculate at least 4-5 of them will have been traded by August 1st.

    • jjyank

      McCarthy is an injury risk, but he’s appealing to me. Good pitcher, free agent after next year. Probably wouldn’t have a ridiculous price tag. I like Wandy too, but that contract makes him an unlikely target.

      • Kosmo

        I like Wandy , his salary would be about 23 mill or less over what´s left of this season and all of 2013 which includes a 2.5 million buyout. He´s a solid mid rotation LHP and he´s good for about 190 innings per. After 2012 NYs SP doesn´t look so great. CC and who ? What will Nova´s numbers look like at the end of the season ? Kuroda and Pettitte will probably be gone. Who´s left ? Phelps ?
        He´d come alot cheaper than Cole Hamels, who I know is a better pitcher, but Hamels would come at an enormous cost over a serious chunk of time.

        • jjyank

          Yeah, true. I do like Wandy, I guess I just don’t like how the option becomes a player option if traded. I really think the Yanks will make a move. Not one of the Pineda caliber, but Cash has to know that we can’t ride out Garcia and Hughes forever.

  • Michaels’ Pineda

    As much as Cashman does a fine job at trading and signing players, he’s horrible when it comes to relying on our youngsters. The Rays, Braves and Giants know how to develop young pitching. Cashman and my Yankees don’t, unfornutaley. And I got this feeling that Cashman is going to stick with Freddy until he gets his kinks out. Its time to cut the chord on him. Get Phelps into the 5 slot and call up Mitchell from AAA to be our new long man.

    Here’s Mitchell’s numbers at the moment…

    2-1, 3.13 ERA, 23 IP, 13 H, 7 BB, 21 K, WHIP of 0.87

    • Jesse

      Ask, and you shall receive:

      At least he’s up. I’m not quite sure what role he’ll be used in, probably as a long man for now.

      • Michaels’ Pineda

        Haha! I called it, hours before it happened! But in all seriousness, Cashman has to use his young talent in AAA. Besides Phelps, Mitchell is the most polished MLB ready arm in the minors. With Warren, Betance and Banuelos struggling, this was the only move to make.

        Also, with Mitchell being called up and Pettitte looming in the distance, this puts even more pressure on Hughes. I’m rooting for Hughes to turn it around, but quite franly, I have no confidence that he will.

    • Rookie

      If you think that Cashman (aside from 2011) has done a fine job of trading and signing starting pitchers, then all I can figure is you must be thinking about a different Cashman.

      I like the guy very much. But his record in that area (again aside from 2011) has clearly been indescribably bad — absolutely putrid.

  • jjyank

    The “big picture” part of my brain has been defending Hughes and Garcia all season so far. It’s only April, SSS, etc. But the “Yankee fan” part of my brain can’t do it anymore. It’s just gotten too hard to watch. I now officially endorse Phelps in the rotation for one of those two. The only thing I can’t decide on is whether it would be best to call up Mitchell or Warren for the other, or ride it out until Andy is ready.

    On the plus side, I think it’s actually pretty impressive that the Yanks are 11-9 considering how bad our pitching was. CC is rounding into form, but he has had a slow start. Kuroda is trading good starts with clunkers. Nova has been pretty good, but (obviously) Hughes and Garcia have been really, really bad. Praise be to Mo for our awesome bullpen, or we’d be in quite the hole.

  • CC

    “I just don’t know who would come up, there’s no obvious candidate.”

    The ONLY obvious candidate is DJ Mitchell. He’s ready to go and has been pitching well. It would help if Mitchell came up, threw a BP session to settle in, and not just thrown to the wolves for his MLB debut.

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    Gotta say I’m a bit worried about Martin at the plate. Opposite start to last year where he cooled off considerably after presumably getting run down. On the positive side, AJ is not around to tire Russ out even more.

    • Michaels’ Pineda

      I have no confidence in Martin as a hitter; as a fielder, game-caller, most indeed. The loss of Montero really is hurting us. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Cashman should have never traded for Pineda.