Going in to 2011, Freddy Garcia (and the now departed Bartolo Colon) was stepping in to a fairly nice situation. He was basically playing with house money; he had very little to lose and a lot to gain. Due to the structure of his deal, anything he gave to the Yankees was essentially gravy. As we were readying ourselves for a Michael Pineda inclusive rotation for 2012, our expectations for Garcia were pretty similar to what they were in the beginning of 2011. Freddy has his uses and can be valuable if utilized properly out of the bullpen…that was our general line of thinking. We also thought that he could turn himself into a trade chip due to the depth of Yankee starting pitching. So should our expectations for Garcia change now that he’s in the rotation?
My first reaction is to say yes. After all, if his role is different, our expectations should be. Even as a back-end starter, we’ve got to hold Garcia to some standard. But on second thought, maybe 2012 Freddy should carry the same expectations as 2011 Freddy. Of course, we have to modify a bit. Giving whatever he can is what we expect and want out of Freddy, but because of his different role, he’ll have to do that same task in a slightly different way.
It sounds cruel, but I can’t help but think his time in the rotation is short, even with the injury to Pineda. Eventually, he’ll be back. Eventually, Andy Pettitte will be knocking on the door to the Stadium. Eventually, one of Adam Warren, D.J. Mitchell, and David Phelps will force the team to give them a shot. What Freddy has to do now is just hold down the fort, wait for the proverbial reinforcements to arrive. If he does that in a similar fashion to how he did it last year, it’ll be good news for the Yankees because it will likely mean that they’ve won a fair amount of games. It’ll also be good for Garcia himself because he may just boost his stock enough to get shipped somewhere where he can continue starting.