New York Yankees Tab Freddy Garcia for Final Rotation Spot

Bryant DanielsContributor IIIMarch 26, 2011

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Freddy Garcia #36 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

On Saturday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced the final spot in his rotation would go to Freddy Garcia, effectively ending the spring training battle between Garcia and fellow offseason signing Bartolo Colon.

Colon will start the year in the bullpen as the long reliever. 

The decision seems to have come down to history rather than performance; While Colon outperformed Garcia during the spring, he spent all of the 2010 season sitting at home getting wider.

Garcia threw 157 innings as a starter in Chicago. 

"The innings that Freddy has logged in, the wins last year," Girardi said. "He stayed healthy all of last year."

Neither pitcher is a particularly attractive option for the Yanks, but upon losing out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, their options became limited.

Still, other avenues could have been pursued (this week's signing of Kevin Millwood is one of them).

Garcia is almost the very definition of a "pitch-to-contact guy." His strikeout rate in 2010 was unimpressive, as was his groundball rate. On top of that, Garcia's ERA (4.64) and FIP (4.77) in '10 were indicative of a fringe starter. Moving into both the AL East. 

The prospects here don't bode well for the Yankees. Expect a season-long game of musical chairs in the back-end of the rotation.