Yankees turn to The Chief on Tuesday

Is it time to panic?
Pregame Notes: Cano, Granderson, Tex, Nova
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

The Yankees used last Thursday’s off-day to juggle their rotation a bit, lining up their top four starters for the first four games of this all-important ten-game stretch. Things haven’t worked out as planned — they’re 1-3 in those four games — and today they hand the ball to Freddy Garcia, who they pushed back to accommodate everyone else in their rotation. It’s certainly not what the Yankees envisioned when they rearranged the pitching schedule, but that’s how things played out.

“They skipped me because they wanted to skip me … They made their decision, nothing I can do about it,” said Garcia yesterday, somewhat begrudgingly. Freddy was terrible earlier this season, earning him a demotion to the bullpen for the first time in his career. Injuries forced him back into the rotation in early-July and he’s since pitched well enough, a 4.16 ERA (4.17 FIP) in eleven starts. The last two starts have not gone so well though, as Garcia has failed to complete five innings both times while allowing seven total runs on 17 baserunners.

The Yankees desperately need their veteran junkballer to turn in a quality outing tonight, and that includes bulk innings since the middle relief is hide the children bad these days. The good news is that the Rays tend to struggle against soft-tossers as Rays blogger extraordinaire Jason Collette noted this morning, the guys who change speeds to the extreme and do most of their work off the plate. In his only start against Tampa this year (his first start following Andy Pettitte‘s injury), Garcia held the Rays to two runs (on two solo homers) in 5.1 innings while on a 70-pitch limit (he threw 74). In his only start against Tampa last season, he struck out seven in 6.2 scoreless innings.

“It’s another game. We know we have a one-game lead. I’ve just got to pitch good. I don’t have any pressure, nothing,” added Freddy yesterday, the typical kind of veteran-speak. There is pressure on the team though, pressure in the form of the surging Orioles and the club’s 24-25 record since the All-Star break. They need to start rattling off some wins (plural) in the worst way, and that could start tonight with a strong outing from Garcia, the guy the Yankees went out of their way to avoid these last few days.

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Is it time to panic?
Pregame Notes: Cano, Granderson, Tex, Nova
  • Walt

    I know he can’t help it but I’m pretty sure Freddy is going to make me sweat every inning.

  • Stevis

    Hope I don’t have to turn the game off after 3 innings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jesse

      You left out an exclamation point.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    i have a feeling that freddy is going to deliver a pitching performance that turns the season around

  • CUYanks

    Do we know if Grandy/Cano will be in the lineup tonight?

    • IPK for Tim Reddings (formerly Brian S.)

      Cano is DH. Grandy is starting in CF.

      • DT

        This seems dumb..why not the reverse. Grandy just had a leg injury.

        • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

          I wouldn’t want to see Cano in CF.

          • DT

            I meant Grandy as the DH, Cano at 2nd and Dickerson in CF.

  • jesse

    Have a good feeling that Freddy will pitch well tonight, not just pitch well through four and fizzle out in the fifth. I think the extra rest will help him, though the stats this season, albeit in a small sample, suggest that he’s not effective with extra rest. But, as Jason Collette pointed out, the Rays struggle against pitchers of Freddy’s caliber. If they can get six outta Freddy while allowing two runs, that would be fantastic.

    Freddy for 6, Wade/Logan for the seventh, D-Rob for the eighth, Sori for the ninth . . . #untuck

    (Of course this is assuming that the offense shows up, which these days is certainly no guarantee, especially if Cano is not in the lineup.)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Is this THE Jesse?

      • jesse

        I don’t comment on here much anymore. Is there another Jesse who comments here?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I’m talkin Jesse the old-school teen wonder from the glory days.

          • jesse

            Yep, that’s me!

  • River Ave Bipolar Disorder

    You can’t predict baseball, but you’re still likely to try on RAB.

    • I am the one who knocks

      If people would say “I hope” instead of “I think” before their guesses/hopes, it’d be much more palatable.

      Now, when they’re guessing on their fears (or hopes if they’re rooting against the Yankees), we call them trolls.

  • IPK for Tim Reddings (formerly Brian S.)

    Meh

  • Better off Eddard

    Phil Hughes failed us Sunday. It’s time for Freddy to show why he should be that #4 starter in the playoffs, if we make it there and that’s a big if. Nova crashed and burned, Hughes crashed and burned, so it’s Freddy’s shot to show what he can do in a big game. It’s a must win.

    • Kosmo

      I got news for you Bro, Freddy will more than likely not be the # 4th starter if NY makes the playoffs. Larry told me never to say never.

      • Better off Eddard

        If he puts up a W tonight he should be in the running. Phil had his shot Sunday and blew it. Joe didn’t help him but he blew it. Nova’s done so it’s up to Freddy now.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          One start in early September is the deciding factor?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            If you extrapolate that start for an entire season….

          • Kosmo

            1 more month left in the season with about 5 starts per SP, it still remains to be seen how the SP lines up in the postseason. I just don´t think Garcia would be the guy.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              I agree.

          • DT

            To be fair Freddy’s 4.17 FIP is far better than Hughe’s 4.79. his 3.99 xFIP is better than Hughe’s 4.47…Also their ERA is almost the same.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Those numbers for Garcia exclude his horrible April. If you’re going to ignore Freddy’s worst starts this year, shouldn’t Hughes numbers be adjusted similarly?

              I’m not saying Freddy can’t beat out Hughes. Just that Hughes last start or Freddy’s start today won’t be the basis for the decision.

              • DT

                If you include April 4.90 ERA 4.21 FIP 3.99 xFIP. His peripherals are better either way.

        • DC

          You would probably be better off with out a computer, Eddard.

    • hmelawyer

      I fear that Freddy may be it for more reasons than that Hughes crashed and burned in Sunday’s start. The last couple starts it looks like Hughes may be hitting some dead arm/fatigue issues. On Sunday, his fastball was topping out at 92, sitting around 90-91, with some at 89. I haven’t seen Hughes’ fastball down into the 80s since last year when he was hurt.

      Hughes is sitting at 161.2 innings, less than 15 off his career high (from 2010) and more than double last years injury reduced number. Let’s be honest, Phil wore out in 2010, leading to injury in 2011. While I hoped he would have more left in the tank, the velocity the last couple of starts (wasn’t just Sunday) has been down and he is showing signs of fatigue.

      Maybe if he is given a couple extra days of rest he can turn it around. But with a tightening race they might not be able to do that and I fear that he will either totally break down or just have his effectiveness break down. With all other injuries not a good prospect.

  • Marcy

    Well Granderson’s back (and I’m not sure that’s good for him) but Robbie’s out.
    If all else fails – it’s America’s Game @ 9:00 on NFL network

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Robbie’s in the lineup as DH.

    • TomH

      It’s “America’s Game” only if America is in decline.

  • Marcy

    Oh, sill me – it’s the DNC – let’s hope for the best -

  • Marcy

    That was silly

  • rick

    Still no nunez. How is nix better than nunez. Joe inherited torres love if old ass bench players.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Jayson Nix is 30 years old.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        That’s old I say! Old!!

      • Slugger27

        hook line and sinker haha.

    • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

      i too am surprised at non Nunez

    • Cris Pengiucci

      How is nix better than nunez.

      He can actually play defense? While I like Nunez, I don’t like his errors. These are important games. Not sure I’d trust Nunez. I do believem however, that he’d provide more offense than Nix, but not sure that’s enough to offset the defensive lapses he’s likely to have.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’d rather have Jayson Nix not making mistakes at second tonight. He’s not a zero at the bat.

        #watchhimmakeeighterrorsnow

        • DC

          Please tell me you knocked on stuart’s wooden head after saying that.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I tend to leave stuart to everyone else.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      It seems they’ve given up on the idea of Nunez playing anywhere other than SS (or DH). He played only SS and DH during his demotion.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Would love to see lots of veteran presents from Freddy tonight.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Love those veteran presents!