Freddy Garcia could surprise us

Unlike Rapada and Eppley before him, Freddy Garcia looked like a professional pitcher the moment he stepped on the mound. Suddenly, the game had possibilities. It was those thoughts that led to another thought: Perhaps having to fill one of the gaps in the rotation with Freddy Garcia is not a bad thing. Maybe it is a good thing. Could that be possible?

Garcia has been the butt of so many Yankee jokes this season that such a thought seems inconceivable. This is the same guy that threw five wild pitches in one game. This is the same guy who might have had the worst April as a Yankee pitcher since Chien-Ming Wang‘s disastrous 2009 version.  Garcia’s ERA at the end of April was 12.51. His game scores in his four starts in April were 42, 36, 21 and 22. In 14.2 innings of work, Garcia gave up 31 base runners. You cannot get much worse than that.

But June has been an entirely different story. Freddy Garcia has made five relief appearances in June. Granted, they were relief appearances. But still. Those outings covered eight innings. In those eight innings, he has allowed only four hits and no walks while striking out eight. He has allowed only one run in those innings.

And you have to give the guy a lot of credit. He is a fourteen year veteran who has won sixty percent of his career decisions. But he took his demotion to the bullpen without pouting and without mouthing off. He has apparently worked on his stuff and when called upon, has made it work. There is a lot to be said about a player who handles a bad situation like that.

And that leads us to the situation the Yankees are in now. There were all kinds of calls for Freddy Garcia to be DFA’d. Perhaps that thought left these lips once or twice too. But then a funny thing happened. Appearances by Freddy Garcia started to become good things…comforting things. And that culminated in yesterday’s outing when his appearance brought comfort and gave the Yankees a chance to win a game. He followed two wing-and-a-prayer pitchers to give a big league performance.

Who knows what will happen when Garcia starts Monday in Tampa against the rival Bay Rays. Perhaps these warm, fuzzy feelings will go up in smoke. But Freddy Garcia could surprise us too. He could provide the kind of insurance policy that looks brilliant once it is needed. For this observer, the miracle is that his outing will be anticipated and not dreaded.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

13 thoughts on “Freddy Garcia could surprise us

  1. I agree he could surprise us and leave everyone saying Andy who? Wait – was that a flying pig I just saw?

  2. William — I agree. When they were specifically mentioning that on the broadcast yesterday ("He was sent to the bullpen, kept his mouth shut and was stretching out his arm to be able to get back up to 90ish mph on the fastball") it got me in the same mindset as you.

    Sometimes the answer is a "professional pitcher" — rather than overburdening a young guy — for a couple of starts. And Garcia's definitely "paid his dues" this year.

  3. Professional pitcher means he takes the ball every 5 days or whenever he's given the opporunity to start and pitches with some conviction and gives a shit. There are a ton of pitchers in baseball that don't take that approach.

  4. Professional Pitcher – someone who has been there, done that – as opposed to someone who draws a paycheck. Even tho the guy breathing and taking is also, by at least one definition, a professional.

    Freddy will cover a spot; after the last dismal pass thru the rotation – the one where everyone forgot how to pitch – I'm willing to bet that Freddy is better than that.

    Will – I thought good, when they put Garcia in – none of the other retreads seemed interested in getting outs. My only negative thought was "Dang – now he doesn't get to start Friday." While its not good that Andy is hurt, I'm glad Freddy will get to start after all.

    Only thing better would be if we still had AJ.