In 14 days, pitchers and catchers will report to their respective camps as 2011 spring training means baseball is finally back again.
For the New York Yankees, it means pitching tryouts will begin, as there are two big holes that need to be filled in the starting rotation.
GM Brain Cashman is trying to fill the fourth and fifth spots, while Yankees fans are holding their breath hoping southpaw Andy Pettitte will appear.
For now the auditions are among Sergio Mitre, Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon and newly signed right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia. This is presuming Mark Prior is only trying out for the bullpen.
Who is Freddy Garcia?
Garcia is a 35-year-old, right-handed pitcher who used to have a lot of promise. Debuting in 1999 with the Seattle Mariners, Garcia was considered one top youngster in the league. In his five seasons in Seattle, Garcia was voted to two All-Star teams, came in second for Rookie of the Year and almost won the Cy Young in 2001.
That is not the Garcia the Yankees just signed for $.1.5 million, with another $3.6M in incentives pending on number of starts he makes.
This Garcia was traded in 2004 to the White Sox and played in Chicago for the next two seasons. Then it was the Phillies in 2007, where he had season-ending surgery after going making 11 starts, winning just one and posting an ERA just shy of 6.00. In 2008, Garcia made three starts as a Detroit Tiger, before heading back to the White Sox where he pitched the last two seasons.
The only promise Garcia has shown was last season, making 28 starts, posting a 12-6 record with a 4.64 ERA over 157 innings pitched.
It’s not great but the Yankees need to weigh all their options.
Still, Garcia is not going to be the permanent solution because he doesn’t strikeout enough batters and gives up too many home-runs. The AL East, especially the Boston Red Sox, could devourer Garcia for dinner. In 2010, Garcia only had 89 strikeouts, while giving up 23 home runs.
Earlier in his career, Garcia's home run numbers were awful but his strikeout numbers were tremendous and that provided enough of a bolster.
Garcia wants to pitch for the Yankees and says it will motivate him, which are just words for now.
Garcia is a signing that could work out, but at the very least he could hold down the fort until the trade deadline.
So, What Are the Yankees' Other Options?
With Cashman trying to make up for a mess of an offseason, Garcia doesn’t provide much comfort for Yankees fans.
Maybe it is time to offer Andy Pettitte too much money, so his decision to return would be impossible to refuse.
Still, why Joba Chamberlain is not given a chance seems ludicrous to me, as the Yankees should weigh all their options.
It is preposterously mind-boggling that Mitre is getting his millionth chance, while Joba is not even mentioned as an option.
Mitre is another Kyle Farnsworth, taking losing games over and over to a whole new level.
This still doesn’t seem to faze the Yankee brass, but it definitely pisses off the fans. Skipper Joe Girardi is taking a huge risk putting Mitre on the mound because it could cause a riot in the Bronx.
There are the prospects, which have a couple of solid arms coming off the farm. For this to work, it would entail the Yankees making a change regarding their methods of dealing with innings limits and pitching counts.
This fiasco will definitely make Yankees spring training a more heavily watched event, but it is surely not by choice.
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