No case for Freddy

Freddy’s struggles have been covered at length and at volume here, there, and everywhere else, so I’m not going to dedicate that much more space to making the case against him. After yesterday’s game, he’s gotten a total of four starts and has an ERA of 12.51. That’s not an example of one bad start driving up the average, as Freddy has been bad in each of his outings, or an unfortunate case of bad luck. Put simply, Garcia’s “stuff” has been awful, particularly his splitter, which he just cannot throw with any break consistently enough. He’s throwing the same flat, 80 MPH, meatball that he laid in for Andy Dirks in the first inning yesterday, batters are waiting for it, and they’re hitting it a mile when they get it.

What’s more, the Yankees have a replacement in their pocket already in David Phelps. I think there’s been a touch too much optimism as to what Phelps is capable of amongst those who have been calling for him to take Garcia’s spot in the rotation (or Phil Hughes‘, for that matter) but, that said, he’s at least a better pitcher than Garcia is right now, which certainly counts at the margins. And the Yankees shouldn’t have any trouble converting him into the rotation, as he’s multiple innings in almost all of his appearances, so he should be pretty well stretched out. After pitching three innings yesterday, Phelps could take Garcia’s next throwing session and be physically capable of pitching at least five innings Thursday night in Kansas City.

As I said above, the real question is whether the Yankees should keep around at all, or simply DFA him. They certainly could do that as early as today, replacing him in the long relief role with D.J. Mitchell, who’s scheduled to start for Empire State today. The real roster crunch, however, will come in the next week or two, as Brett Gardner returns from the disabled list and Andy Pettitte‘s comeback tour makes it’s much anticipated stop in the Bronx. With the Yankees carrying 13 pitchers at the moment, that means at least two hurlers will lose their present spots on the roster. Cody Eppley is likely to be the first to go (and after throwing three innings yesterday, he could very well be sent down today), but then what do you do if you’re Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi? Do you send Phelps to the minors, considering how effective he’s been? Do you send Phil Hughes down?

I don’t see a good case for keeping Garcia over anyone else on the big league roster at the moment, and with someone about to find themselves without a chair, that could mean the end of the Freddy Garcia era comes to a close sooner rather than later.

9 thoughts on “No case for Freddy

  1. steve

    i was thinking a roster move was coming today with how thin the pen is right now.

  2. jay_robertson

    I think all Girardi (and Yankee management) are "sleeping on" is what to do next; they're studying and ciphering on the same things you have mentioned. I'm guessing they're at least as sick of Freddy as you and the rest of the Yankee fanbase; but as you prove in the above ruminations, there really isn't a slick solution at hand.

    As soon as they can figure out the best (or, least worst) option, we'll know. There are a number of options that are no worse than Freddy; you've pointed out the biggest headache – roster space when Brett and Andy come on board.

  3. GabeLezra

    As someone who thought Garcia should have been removed during Spring Training, I feel a little bit vindicated–though I'd much rather have been proved wrong. Why keep someone on the roster who is clearly below replacement level, especially when there are better options (even if only marginally) readily available?

    Of course, it's not so simple. We'll see how things shake out in the next couple days, I imagine.

  4. LarryAtIIATMS

    It's a depressing thought, but it's possible that Garcia is still one of the Yanks' five best options at starting pitcher. Until Phelps, or MItchell, or Pettitte (or for that matter, Hughes) prove otherwise, it's best to keep Garcia around. Perhaps he can rediscover whatever he has left in the bullpen.

    • roadrider

      it's best to keep Garcia around. Perhaps he can rediscover whatever he has left in the bullpen

      Sure, that could happen – wait, was that a flying pig I just saw?

      • LarryAtIIATMS

        Yeah, well, that too. I SAID it was a depressing thought.

        Other depressing thoughts. AJ was something like twice as effective in 2011 as Garcia has been in 2012. Phelps, Mitchell, et. al. could both be historically lousy AND far more effective than Garcia. We cannot be certain that Phelps, Mitchell et. al. will prove to be any better than Garcia. And in a couple of days Brien may (with justification) take up his theme that Hughes belongs in the minors.

        At this point, spotting a flying pig might be a good omen.

    • BrienJackson

      Maybe, but he might not have time to try. The Yankees are still carrying 13 pitchers so, when Gardner comes back Thursday, one of those guys has to go. It's certainly not going to be Phelps at this point, so the choices are basically limited to Garcia and Mitchell. If Mitchell gets into a game and looks good, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they decide to keep the younger guys around considering just how bad Freddy has been.

      • LarryAtIIATMS

        You could make room for Garcia by sending Hughes to the minors, a move you've already discussed. But yeah, I get the point that something has got to give. There is a limit on the number of pitchers you can keep on the 25 man roster waiting for them to "figure it out".

        • BrienJackson

          This is true, though while I would endorse sending Hughes down, they certainly won't do that right now. My point was merely that I think there's a reasonably decent chance that Garcia doesn't survive the week as a Yankee if Mitchell has the chance to impress the right people.

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