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.