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.… Click here to read the rest

Breaking down Freddy’s horrific April

AP Photo

It’s no secret that Freddy Garcia has been awful thus far in 2012. He’s throwing batting practice, has lasted just 1.2 IP in each of his last two starts, and sports and 9.75 ERA on the year. His spot in the rotation is very much in doubt, even his perpetually reticent manager said ‘he’ll sleep on it’ when asked if Garcia will make his next start. For his own part, Freddy seemed bewildered in yesterday’s post game interviews when asked about his performances of late. Questioned about his future in the rotation, he replied “I don’t know what’s going to happen next” and that the manager hasn’t discussed his role on the team yet “but probably it happen tomorrow”.

One thing both Garcia and the manager agreed upon is that his velocity is down, with Girardi adding that his stuff “isn’t as crisp” as it was last year, or even this year in Spring Training.  So I thought we should dig through his numbers and pitch FX charts to see if there’s anything that jumps out at you.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report 4/28/2012: Pettitte demoted!

Empire State beat Lehigh Valley 8-4:

A night after scratching out a win on five hits, the wandering Yankees broke out at the plate for 11 hits and eight runs, powered by a sixth run third inning after Lehigh Valley opened the scoring in the top of the inning. Lehigh Valley scored three runs in the sixth to bring the game within reach at 6-4, but the Yankees tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the eighth before turning the game over to Kevin Whelan in a non-save situation. Whelan wouldn’t need them, however, as he pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts to one hit allowed to close out the win for the Yankees.

At the plate, Kevin Russo led the way for Empire State, going 2-4 with a walk, a double, and three RBI. Old buddy Francisco Cervelli went 3-5 with a double and an RBI, raising his season average to .213 in the process. Jayson Nix went 2-4 with a double and two RBI.… Click here to read the rest

PITCHf/x Scouting Report: Max Scherzer

The Tigers will send right handed pitcher Max Scherzer to the mound for the rubber game of this matchup. The 27 year old was an 11th overall round pick in the 2006 draft by the Diamondbacks. After a successful minor league career, he started his first full season in 2009, before being traded to the Tigers in the three team Curtis Granderson deal for Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson. In his first year with Detroit, Scherzer posted a 3.50 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 8.46 K/9, and 3.22 BB/9 through 195.2 innings. He followed up his 2010 performance with a similar season in 2011, but his biggest performance was in game 2 of the ALDS, where he went 6 innings in Yankee Stadium, giving up only 2 hits and no runs. He went on to pitch terribly in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Rangers, ending the Tiger’s playoff hopes.

Pitch Repertoire

Scherzer throws four different pitches. His 93 mph four-seam fastbal  has slightly less “rising” action that your typical fastball, but also moves into a right handed hitter similar to a two-seam.… Click here to read the rest

Freddy stinks, Yankees’ comeback falls short, Tigers win 7-5

It wasn’t to be, however, as Garcia threw the flat splitter in the middle of the zone that has been his calling card this month, and Dirks shot it over the wall in right for a three run homer. The Yankees quickly got a home run of their own off the bat of Nick Swisher in the bottom of the inning, but Garcia wasn’t done doing his damage. Freddy allowed the leadoff man on base for the second consecutive inning on a single from Alex Avila, but Garcia again retired the next two batters, this time holding the runner on first in the process. But with the top of the Tigers’ order up for the second time, the flood gates finally opened as Jackson singled and Brennan Boesch and Cabrera hit back to back doubles to extend Detroit’s lead to 6-1. Girardi wasn’t going to give Garcia any more rope than that with a couple of left handed batters due up, going to the bullpen for LOOGY Clay Rapada, who retired Fielder on a lineout to Alex Rodriguez to get the Yankees out of the inning.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread, Saturday April 28, Tigers vs. Yankees

Lost somewhere in all the hype about how Justin Verlander is now the best pitcher in baseball is the fact that the Yankees have typically hit him well. Last night’s game was no different, as the bombers pulled off an impressive 7-6 come from behind victory to beat the Tigers. Today’s game doesn’t augur as kindly for New York. Freddy Garcia has struggled mightily this season. The Tigers, on the other hand, feature one of the deadliest lineups in baseball. Call me a pessimist, but I don’t see Sweaty Freddy getting through four. The Tigers will counter with Drew Smyly. Game time is 4pm on Fox. Enjoy.… Click here to read the rest

PITCHf/x Scouting Report: Drew Smyly

Rookie pitcher Drew Smyly takes the mound for the Tigers this afternoon. After an exceptional college career, Smyly was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft and received a $1.1 million signing bonus. In 2011, the Tigers started the left handed pitcher in high-A where he went on to post a 2.58 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 8.63 K/9, and 2.35 BB/9 in 80.1 innings. He also started 45.2 innings in double-AA last year, posting an even better 1.18 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 10.45 K/9, and 2.96 BB/9. Despite only pitching one season of minor league ball, the 22 year old impressed this spring by holding hitters to a .180 average and striking out 14 over 18.0 innings. He was promptly inserted into the major league rotation, and thus far it appears the Tigers have at least a mid rotation starter in Smyly. Although he’s faced the Rays, Royals, and Rangers thus far, the Yankees look to be his toughest match up thus far with a lineup loaded with hitters that can destroy lefties.… Click here to read the rest