As Matt Hunter pointed out yesterday, Freddy Garcia needed a strong start against the hard-hitting Tigers. Going into the game he was sporting a 9.75 ERA in 12.0 innings of work and there were already plenty of calls for him to be pulled out of the rotation in favor of David Phelps. The fact that Joe Girardi even gave Garcia his start yesterday when he could have skipped over his rotation spot because of Thursday’s off-day was a clear sign that the Yankees wanted to give Garcia every opportunity to work out his struggles and right the ship. But Garcia once again got hit hard right out of the gates, with the Tigers tagging him for 6 earned runs before he was pulled after just 1.2 IP.
It certainly wasn’t the start Freddy or the Yankees wanted, and despite a late rally the Yankees’ offense wasn’t able to overcome those 6 runs to eek out a win. And though I said this after Freddy’s last start (and was proven wrong at that point), I don’t believe Freddy will get another start with the Yankees. When asked about the topic last night Girardi said he would “sleep on it,” but frankly I don’t see how the Yankees could justify running him out there again when batters are racking up a 1.094 OPS against him. Couple this with the fact that in each of his last two starts he has only lasted 1.2 innings and you are essentially ensuring a Yankees’ loss before the game even starts. Sure the Yanks’ offense can mash, but half a dozen runs in the first 2-3 innings is difficult for any team to overcome.
In my mind, the only question now is what to do with Freddy once he is pulled from the rotation. His trade value is minimal if it even exists, and his performances thus far have shown that he’s not even suited for a long-relief role out of the bullpen. At this point the Yankees’ best bet may be to simply pull Freddy off the roster and free up a spot for someone else. *UPDATE* This may actually be happening, as D.J. Mitchell has just been called up from Triple-A as I write this and there is no word yet on where that roster opening is coming from. I’m not the betting type, but if I were I’d say David Phelps is going to get a shot in the Yankees’ rotation.
On the offensive side of things, there is fortunately not much to say. Yankees batters are putting runs on the board, and guys like Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez are continuing to surpass everyone’s expectations in terms of run production. No gripes about the offense here – they simply got out-hit by a stellar Tigers offense and were the victims of terrible starting pitching last night.