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Pregame notes: Looking for more from Garcia

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Apr 28, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

On his best days, Freddy Garcia’s fastball sits in upper 80s. Velocity is not what made him effective last season, and it’s not something he’s counting on this season, but when Garcia’s velocity dips in the low-to-mid 80s like it did in his last start, it’s a sign of problems across the board.

“When it’s that drastically low, you’re going to lose some of the break on your offspeed pitches and some of the deception on your split,” Joe Girardi said. “Things are going to roll a little bit when it comes to your offspeed.”

That’s why Girardi said he’ll first and foremost look for improved velocity in Garcia’s start this afternoon. He doesn’t need a big fastball, but he needs to show enough arm strength to suggest his secondary pitches will remain effective.

“Then it just really comes down to location for Freddy, and mixing in all of his pitches, and having his split and having his four pitches that he can go to,” Girardi said. “Freddy lives on the edges, and that’s what he has to do.”

The Yankees need Garcia to figure it out, because a 9.75 ERA isn’t cutting it. After Ivan Nova struggled last night, the Yankees don’t have a single starting pitcher with an ERA below 4.38.

“We definitely have to do better, there’s no doubt about it,” Girardi said. “To compete in this division, and to compete in this league, you have to do better. Our bullpen will get worn out if we continue at this pace, but I believe they will turn it around.”

• Speaking of doing better in the rotation… Because of weather concerns in Maine, Andy Pettitte’s next minor league start might be shifted from Double-A to High-A. Girardi said a decision will likely be made today whether to have Pettitte go ahead with Monday’s scheduled start in Portland or to move that start down to Tampa. “Basically, he feels good though,” Girardi said. “That’s the good thing. He’s bouncing back really well.”

• Girardi said the timing of the Roger Clemens trial will not affect when the Yankees bring Pettitte up to New York. The team is not worried about the distraction of Pettitte needing to testify. “That has not really been brought into determining when we would call him back, no,” Girardi said. “I don’t know how much time or if any time he’s going to have to spend there, but that has not been in our conversations.”

• Brett Gardner has been cleared to hit in the cage. He came through bunting drills just fine yesterday, saw the doctor again this morning and will attempt to hit after batting practice. He expects to be ready after his 15 days are up. “Today’s just step one, but hopefully it feels good,” he said.

• The two everyday Yankees with the lowest batting averages are Alex Rodriguez (.250) and Russell Martin (.188). Martin was as low as .133 a week and a half ago, but he’s hit a little bit lately. “I think he’s getting closer to where we expect him to be,” Girardi said. “He’s driving the ball the other way, he’s starting to drive the ball. The one thing that he has done through this whole thing is he has taken his walks. He has been patient. He has had long at-bats. Usually when you’re able to do things, things will turn around.”

• As for Rodriguez, he had three hits including his fourth homer yesterday. “He drove the ball the other way,” Girardi said. “He was patient. He got his pitch. One of the balls he hit the hardest was the ball he hit to center field. On a normal day when it’s not cold and the wind’s blowing, he’s got another home run. I just thought he swung at good pitches and he was patient.”

Associated Press photos

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69 Responses to “Pregame notes: Looking for more from Garcia”

  1. Against All Odds April 28th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Against All Odds April 28th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    They need starters. Why throw one away who still has a chance to be a good one?
    —————————–

    Not exactly throwing him away though.

  2. jmv April 28th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks, versonine

  3. Stoneburner April 28th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Yankeesource ? @YankeeSource Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Asked a scout about Joba and Hughes and who he would keep if he had to choose one. “Joba, he could still be a lights out reliever.”

  4. Nick in SF April 28th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    “blake April 28th, 2012 at 9:59 am
    Sabathia is from SoCal as well and everyoneon said he wanted to go back there…..”

    First of all, Vallejo is in NoCal, not SoCal, and second of all a fair number of people here never bought into (and argued against) the fear that CC would head west. What else are you all wrong about???

  5. UnKnown April 28th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Just hoping that Garcia can pitch around Nuneeeeez error today.

  6. Tar April 28th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Phil walks too many batters, and sucks with men on base. Stop the BB’s, and figure out the problem he’s having from the stretch. I have seen him throw some really good CB’s and CU’s this year so he has both of pitches in his arsenal right now hiis FB is fine.

    More than anything Pitching from the stretch is Phils downfall.

    I’m counting on a bounceback game from Garcia today.

  7. blake April 28th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    “. Rothschild can’t just magically make Hughes good, but no one seems to be saying what is obvious: Hughes needs a better secondary pitch.”

    That’s a fair point….but I can’t imagine they don’t know that….my guess is they just can’t decide what to do about it……of course they did sit there and let Pineda throw over 60 pitches when he clearly wasn’t right.

  8. theREALkevin April 28th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I hope after Joba comes back he ends up replacing Mo as closer. He still has the ability & he can still electrify the crowd the way a great closer does. I think Robertson would be best suited to continue being the 8th inning Houdini anyhow.

    As far as Hughes, I liked his knuckle curve that he used to throw. I have no idea if the stats back that up or not though. Maybe I just like knuckle curves.

  9. blake April 28th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    “First of all, Vallejo is in NoCal, not SoCal, and second of all a fair number of people here never bought into (and argued against) the fear that CC would head west. What else are you all wrong about???”

    Well California ….whatever…..and I do think CC would have went back to California if the money hasn’t been so drastically different

  10. blake April 28th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    FWIW….I still think Hughes coukd be a great reliever…..in fact if they moved him to the pen I think he immediately is their 3rd best options out there.

  11. blake April 28th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    The Hamels and Dodgers stuff is speculation as well…..has he said he wanted to pith in LA? Its a pretty similar situation from what I can tell….both top lefties…..both from California …..both are rumored to want to go back to California…..they Yanks made sure they got Sabathia…..will they do the same with Hamels? Probably not…..

  12. Against All Odds April 28th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    theREALkevin April 28th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I hope after Joba comes back he ends up replacing Mo as closer. He still has the ability & he can still electrify the crowd the way a great closer does.
    ——————————————-

    If Joba is smart the minute his Yankee contract is up he finds a new team

  13. ron April 28th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Why not throw hughes in AAA,and let him develop?

    We don’t need him in the pen now anyways,and he is still only 26 in june.
    It is simply not true that hughes has nothing too prove in the minors.
    He can learn how to throw offspeed pitches in any count,and get results with them.

  14. Against All Odds April 28th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    ron April 28th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Why not throw hughes in AAA,and let him develop?

    We don’t need him in the pen now anyways,and he is still only 26 in june.
    It is simply not true that hughes has nothing too prove in the minors.
    He can learn how to throw offspeed pitches in any count,and get results with them.

    ———————

    He could improve but then he would still have to show the FO he could get ML hitters out.

  15. luis April 28th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Hello everyone,

    I don’t know if it has been discussed, but Bob Abreu was released by the Angels. What do you guys think about switching Ibanez for Abreu?…At this point i think he would be a vast improvement over Ibanez, plus he is a patient hitter with bery good situational instincts.

  16. luis April 28th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    *very* sorry

  17. blake April 28th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    “Why not throw hughes in AAA,and let him develop?”

    They should send him back to Tampa if they are going to do that and start over with real changes…..I don’t think a fee tweaks in AAA is going to really fix anything…..he needs his secondary offerings rebuilt from scratch …..they coukd spend all of this year doing that….save a year of service time and then hopefully have a valuable pitcher for 13 and 14……may have to change his arm angle…..may have to develop a slider or split…..may have to do a lot of stuff…but if they really want to keep him a starter then he’s gotta change….pretty drastically …..if they don’t want to go through the time and effort to do that then stick hin in the pen and try and get value that way.

  18. blake April 28th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    If they want a straight DH they should stick with Ibanez……if they are going to continue to play Ibanez in the outfield then they should swap hin for Abreu.

  19. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    ron April 28th, 2012 at 2:53 pm
    Why not throw hughes in AAA,and let him develop?

    ///

    No one has come up with a good answer to “why not?” They have relievers coming out of their butt, in the minors as well. They can either use him as a stater at some point, or they can maximize his value by continuing to develop him as such.

    But until they behave like they actually believe pitching depth is important, rather than just blathering out abstractions and truisms about pitching being the “keys to the kingdom”, I won’t hold my breath waiting for them to get it.

  20. yankee 221 April 28th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Well, what is Cashman’s solution for the rotation next year if it DOESN’T include Hamels? Especially if none of the youngsters distinguish themselves in AAA this year?

  21. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Abreu’s a better hitter, and still has enough power to take advantage of RF. I take Abreu seven days a week over Ibanez.

  22. theREALkevin April 28th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I’d stick with Ibanez. He’s had a bunch of big hits already this year & his playing time in the outfield will decrease drastically when Gardner comes back.

  23. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    221, he should have a healthy Chamberlain, possibly a Hughes with a better 3rd offering, Nova and Sabathia. Phelps is already in the majors and has pitched well, so far. Mitchell looks about ready to make the jump. They could always offer Kuroda or Pettitte another year.

    If they can stay healthy, Warren, Betances and Banuelos are not likely to not make any forward progress. The latter two will have built their arms up more, by next ST. Not much experience but, lots of depth and possibilities.

  24. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “April 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm Well, what is Cashman’s solution for the rotation next year if it DOESN’T include Hamels? Especially if none of the youngsters distinguish themselves in AAA this year?”

    “We believe in what we have….we shouldn’t need a higher payroll….we are the Yankees …..the offense is fine…..yadda yadda yadda”

  25. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I haven’t read backwards faithfully, but has Randy checked in? Seems I haven’t seen his username in quite a while. Hope everything is ok by him.

  26. luis April 28th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    JAP, Blake and Kevin,

    He was disgruntled in LA, i bet that he would perform ten times better that what we have seen form him so far. Even if you don’t send him to the field (strictly as a DH), he would be a much better threat than Ibanez currently is.

  27. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    The plan all along should have been to sign Kuroda and then see how their youngsters developed……and then if they needed pitching to go after Hamels if he was available. They didn’t do that because they tried to be smart guys and trade for instant pitching instead.

  28. Against All Odds April 28th, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    yankee 221 April 28th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Well, what is Cashman’s solution for the rotation next year if it DOESN’T include Hamels? Especially if none of the youngsters distinguish themselves in AAA this year?

    ———————-

    Probably CC, Nova, bring back Andy/Kuroda or both, see what happens with Hughes, maybe sign a solid vet on a small contract, work in Warren, Phelps, or DJ

  29. luis April 28th, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Me neither, last time i saw a post from him was before i left the country like 4 days ago.

  30. jmv April 28th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Hi, Luis

    I’ll take Abreu over Ibañez every day of the week, but he’s looking for an everyday job, already stated that in ST. Of course, one thing is what he wants and another what he can get

  31. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I would take Abreu over Ibanez simply because it seems like Girardi is insistent on playing Raul in LF

  32. Against All Odds April 28th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    “We believe in what we have….we shouldn’t need a higher payroll….we are the Yankees …..the offense is fine…..yadda yadda yadda”

    —————————

    HAHAHAHA my sides hurt because that’s what he’ll say. Then he’ll latch onto one guy in the minors and put supreme pressure on him. “We believe he’s ready to be a significant piece for us going forward because *rattles off various stats the player has accumulated*”

  33. luis April 28th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    JAP’s post is on point, we still have plenty of depth for next year. Whether the FO feels the same remains to be seen. As i said earlier, i am scared of a potential panic move to bolster the rotation.

  34. luis April 28th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    jmv,

    At this point i don’t see him getting one. He could be a golden opportunity to bolster the offense. Especially on the situational hitting department. On top of that he gets a chance to win a WS before he hangs his spikes.

  35. Nick in SF April 28th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I wouldn’t be too worried about randy.

    The champagne cork probably hit him in the head and he’s got temporary amnesia, but he’s a pretty tough cookie, I’m sure he’ll snap out of it.

  36. theREALkevin April 28th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    luis,

    I’ll admit that if you had asked me prior to the season who I’d rather want, Abreu or Ibanez, I would have said Abreu. But now that the season has started, I think Ibanez has more left with the bat than I thought. I think if Abreu would be an upgrade it would be marginal at best and I think the move is just not worth making unless it is a slam dunk. Ibanez has provided some pop & hit a couple big home runs for us. Would not punish him by replacing him with someone who at best would be a marginal upgrade.

  37. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    luis April 28th, 2012 at 3:09 pm
    JAP, Blake and Kevin,

    He was disgruntled in LA, i bet that he would perform ten times better that what we have seen form him so far. Even if you don’t send him to the field (strictly as a DH), he would be a much better threat than Ibanez currently is.
    ///

    Hi Luis!

    Agree about Abreu. Not close; much better hitter. In fact, Abreu’s eye and discrimination at the plate is under appreciated. He’s been under acknowledged as a really good, professional hitter; even when he was here. He’s a full count guy. Book it.

  38. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Nick,

    If you’re implying that Randy is happy Pineda’s career may in jeopardy, I think that is pretty cynical. I also don’t buy it.

  39. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Maybe they can have Abreu AND Ibanez….then against righties Swisher can DH and we can have Ibanez and Abreu on the corners!

  40. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    luis,

    You still there?

  41. luis April 28th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Hi JAP!,

    I have to go, but i’ll try to be for the game.

    Blake,

    Don’t joke about it! :D

    Kevin,

    I don’t agree, but i respect your point of view.

    later guys

  42. jmv April 28th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    JAP, Luis

    Bobby is still one of the most disciplined batters in the game. He’ll be an upgrade, no doubt. But do you really think that Ibañez is gonna be released (don’t see trade potential)? Seems to be one of those Joe favorites

  43. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    luis,

    When you get a chance, take a look at You Know Who’s batting stance. Not front-footing it so much recently.

  44. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    jmv,

    Nope, I don’t think they’d release him, since he hasn’t been bad at the plate. I was just hypothetically responding to Abreu vs. Ibanez, and to me, it’s an easy choice.

  45. Nick in SF April 28th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    randy is happy anytime Cashman feels some heat and any time he can claim to be right about some prediction (whether or not it’s true). But no, I do not think he’s genuinely happy about Pineda being hurt.

    Maybe he’s too depressed to post because he had stuckey beat in their bet only to see the victory snatched away at the last second? If so, it’s in vain, as stuckey seems to be serving out his suspension anyway.

  46. tomingeorgia April 28th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    luis
    Do you think Girardi could resist putting Abreu in the field? I don’t. Always liked Bobby as a hitter, though. AS JAP said, he’s a high pitch count hitter.

  47. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    And jmv, I agree about the discipline. Abreu’s ABs are always a pleasure for me to watch. No matter who he’s playing for.

  48. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    The Angels put Trout right in the leadoff spot today…..playing LF.

  49. tomingeorgia April 28th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    There apparently isn’t a proper word for “wallaphobia”, but Bobby has it, in spades.

  50. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Really wanted to make the drive to see Campos tonight….couldn’t get away…..bummed out.

  51. UnKnown April 28th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Not sure why people wouldn’t want Abreu back. I always thought he played well in NY. Those were back in my heavy drinking days so I could be mistaken.

  52. austinmac April 28th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Abreu hit .253 last year with eight homers while playing regularly. Less power and probably minimal, if any, improvement average wise. He was bad as an outfielder several years ago. I think Wise would be better than Abreu.

  53. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    They should sign Abreu…..the only issue is that when Gardner comes back either he or Ibanez would have to be cut loose.

  54. UnKnown April 28th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Jack Curry ? @JackCurryYES
    Details With Smyly starting, Luke Miller researched that last 6 LHs to start vs Yanks (Chen,Moore,Diamond,Furbush,Duffy, Niese) were 1-4 w 6.52 ERA.

    ——-

    Ruining the Yankees can’t hit rookie lefties narrative.

  55. blake April 28th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    The Yanks hit almost any Lefty.

  56. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Abreu’s career OBP with a full count is .524, with a .966 OPS

  57. MTU April 28th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Enjoy the game folks.

    Hope Freddy bounces back.

    That’s a tough lineup.

    ;)

  58. austinmac April 28th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Abreu is nowhere near the player he used to be. His OPS last year was .707. I think many are recalling a younger version. He is patient, but if he doesn’t hit.

  59. austinmac April 28th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Make that .717 OPS.

  60. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Boy, Jeter has to be the worst athlete-actor. LOL, those Ford commercials are painful.

  61. tomingeorgia April 28th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    austin,
    I’m not saying to bring Bobby back, just fondly remembering his at bats. Should have been Damon, anyway.

  62. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Should have been Jesus.

  63. jmv April 28th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    “J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
    Abreu’s career OBP with a full count is .524, with a .966 OPS”
    ——————————————————————————–

    Yeap. A beast. But don’t get him close to any wall, please!

  64. J. Alfred Prufrock April 28th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    jmv,

    Poor Bobby. At least he has a good excuse. He got hurt pretty bad crashing into the wall. I seem to recall he had made somewhat of an adjustment, and tried to overcome his phobia. Any how, no one’s saying he should take a regular turn in the OF, LOL.

    I always liked Bobby, and I never minded him smiling, oddly enough.

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