May
17

Using Freddy Garcia

By

Freddy's just been chilling lately. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Freddy Garcia would probably like a mulligan on 2012. Things started to look down for him as early as January, when the Yankees traded for Michael Pineda and signed Hiroki Kuroda on the same night. With those two added to the rotation, it appeared that Garcia might have been the odd man out. In fact, throughout spring training it appeared that he’d end up in the bullpen, giving chances to Pineda and Phil Hughes.

Pineda’s injury opened up that rotation spot for Garcia, and given his spring performance he seemed to deserve it. But the season has been anything but kind to him. It started with an outing against Baltimore in which he uncorked five wild pitches while allowing four runs in 4.2 innings. After allowing at least five run in each of his next three outings, the Yankees removed him from the rotation. Now he languishes in the bullpen, reserved for true mop-up situations.

Yet in his three relief appearances, all consisting of two innings, he has pitched very well. All in all he has allowed one unearned run on three hits and two walks. He has struck out four, though three of them came in his last outing. Oddly enough, though, he’s generated just one swing and miss during that period. But even without the whiffs he’s still thrown strikes, 64 percent of his 88 pitches. He’s also seen an uptick in his velocity, averaging just under 90 mph with his sinker — about 2 mph faster than it was in April while in the rotation.

With the bullpen injuries, many players will see their roles change. Boone Logan could see some higher leverage spots. As Dan Barbarisi writes in the Wall Street Journal, Cory Wade has become more vital. Yet as with the previous setup corps of Robertson and Soriano, these guys can’t take all of the setup innings. The Yanks will need others to step up. While se might see potential in the young Phelps, there is still Garcia to consider. The Yanks are paying him and apparently aren’t going to cut him. So why not see what he can deliver out of the pen? The results so far have been encouraging, at least.

Categories : Death by Bullpen

11 Comments»

  1. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    Freddy was extra good last year on extra rest. He’s had plent now. We could give him another try. He is a good asset now.

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

      plenty

    • jjyank says:

      I definitely think the Yanks need to hold on to him. I don’t believe that he has more value in a trade than he does as a long man / rotation insurance. I’m sure Freddy will be making at least a few more starts this year.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Yeah, I think he’s better than he showed early this season. (Worse than his ERA last season, though.) He’s had 2.5 seasons or so in the same xFIP range.

  2. LiterallyFigurative says:

    What difference does it make how we use Garcia? We never have a lead anyway!

    /CompletelyInJest’d

  3. LiterallyFigurative says:

    The sight of a pitcher playing catch near a warning track….

    L’Sigh

  4. vicki says:

    of course in true mop-up situations one faces more defensive replacements, and in general opposing batters’ approaches are more forgiving. i still shudder to imagine freddy’s stuff with the game on the line.

  5. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Garcia has been pretty good lately.

    They’re inevitably going to need him and/or Phelps to make a spot start here or there and if he continues to have success pitching out of the pen, I see no reason to not try him in some higher leverage situations and see how he does.

  6. viridiana says:

    Excellemt post. There’s still some utility in that old arm – and he may be just the guy to come into some tight spots when others are unavailable.

  7. forensic says:

    Hey, 100+ comments on offensive players and 100+ comments on minor leaguers/players not on the currently, and now 10 comments on Freddy Garcia.

    That about sums up his standing in the Yankee Universe right now.

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