Results tagged ‘ Freddy Garcia ’

If Phil is right, do the Yankees need Ubaldo?

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — That’s the question I’m pondering from St. Pete, just a few hours before the start of a four-game series against the Rays and just a few hours removed from a very convincing start by Phil Hughes.

Hughes looked awfully close to that 18-game winner from 2010 against the Blue Jays on Sunday, when he notched his first win and first quality start, retired eight of his final nine hitters he faced and registered just 80 pitches through six innings. He could’ve gone longer, but Hughes (pictured left by The Associated Press) went deep enough to make a very important point — he looks like an effective starting pitcher again.

Over the All-Star break, the right-hander worked with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on better aligning his stride towards the plate and adjusting his curveball grip. That grip gave him a much sharper breaking ball he was able to use as a reliable No. 2 pitch to offset his four-seamer (one that consistently sat in the 92- to 93-mph range and got better as the game wore on).

Now, the question: If Hughes truly is back, and he’s the 2010 version again, do the Yankees need Ubaldo Jimenez?

Here’s the thing about Jimenez: Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd doesn’t really have to move him. It reminds me a lot of the situation with Padres closer Heath Bell in recent years. Jimenez is under club control for a while (signed through 2012 with two additional club options thereafter), he’s awfully affordable (making no more than $8 million through 2014) and his stock is rather low (Jimenez is 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 18 starts this year — though he does have a 2.56 ERA since the start of June).

Since the Rockies are 9 1/2 games out of first place and the starting-pitching market is weak, it’s not surprising they would shop him. But considering all the above-mentioned factors, it’s no wonder Colorado seeks the sun and the moon for the services of Ubaldo (pictured right by the AP).

MLB.com colleague Thomas Harding says the Rockies are at least listening to offers for Jimenez, but a deal remains unlikely. Peter Gammons, meanwhile, put the chances of a deal at 10 percent. We all know how quickly things can change as the non-waiver Trade Deadline draws closer, though.

With regards to the Yankees, the names that have surfaced as potential pieces to a deal are the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova and Jesus Montero (though SI.com is reporting today that Montero wouldn’t be the centerpiece of the potential trade, since the Rockies don’t view him as a catcher).

Now, if Hughes is right, then the Yankees would have an in-house rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Hughes at the top, with the final spots going to any two between Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Nova.

Would they still need Jimenez to make a return trip to the playoffs? And would it be worth it to give up what the Rockies would want in return?

Curious to hear your thoughts.

Some links from the series finale in Toronto …

* Efficient Hughes looks strong in first win

* Yankees Notebook, on Gardner, Dickerson, Teixeira and A-Rod

* Yankees intend to push Rays down standings

Alden 

Game 91: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

TORONTO — Joe Girardi didn’t expect his bullpen to log so many innings so quickly into the second half. But two games removed from the All-Star break, the Yankees’ skipper already finds himself needing a long, bullpen-saving start from ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees’ relief corps logged 7 1/3 innings on Thursday, then three more on Friday. In that span, five different relievers were used, with Sergio Mitre going twice. Because of that, Mitre won’t be available today, and there’s a good chance neither will Hector Noesi, who’s two days removed from pitching 3 1/3 frames.

“It happens during the course of the season and you just have to prepare for it,” Girardi said. “You need some distance out of your ace today, and that’s the bottom line. And I think we’re covered. But if something were to happen to CC in the first inning, then it’d be a little tough today.”

Lucky for Joe, Sabathia is one of the best second-half pitchers in baseball.

Or perhaps the best.

In terms of second-half performance from 2006-10, Sabathia leads all Major League starters who qualify in ERA (2.64), wins (41) and strikeouts (490). For his career, the burly left-hander has a 3.67 first-half ERA and a 3.31 second-half ERA. Now, he’ll be looking to get the Yankees back on track after they dropped back-to-back games, and look to snap the Blue Jays’ five-game winning streak.

A lot of the talk pregame, once again, centered on signs. Russell Martin claimed the Blue Jays were picking up his signs on Thursday. Then last night, Girardi opted to go with multiple signs even with nobody on base, which led to a lot of mound trips and some confusion that may have taken Freddy Garcia out of rhythm (though nobody really used that as an excuse). Pregame today, Girardi vaguely addressed the issue of teams taking other measures besides their own baserunners to pick up signs, saying: “Sometimes we have inclinations that things might be happening in certain ballparks. We’re aware of it, and we try to protect our signs.” Blue Jays skipper John Farrell then denied that any of that is going on at Rogers Centre.

More on that soon.

For now, here are the lineups, with Jose Bautista still out for the Blue Jays and day-to-day with a sore ankle. It’s looking like he won’t play on Sunday, either. Curtis Granderson has the day off from the turf, and Martin gets a blow behind the plate with the quick turnaround …

YANKEES (53-37)
Derek Jeter, SS
Granderson, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, LF
Brett Gardner, CF
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Francisco Cervelli, C

Pitching: LH Sabathia (13-4, 2.72 ERA)

BLUE JAYS (47-47)
Rajai Davis, CF
Eric Thames, RF
Yunel Escobar, SS
Adam Lind, 1B
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Aaron Hill, 2B
Travis Snider, LF
J.P. Arencibia, C
John McDonald, 3B

Pitching: LH Ricky Romero (7-8, 3.09 ERA)

Some links from last night …

* Garcia bested on night to forget for Yanks

* Yankees Notebook, with stuff on Nunez’s learning curve, Jeter’s popularity and Colon’s health

* Martin blames himself if Blue Jays knew signs

Alden 

Rotation spot gives Garcia some relief

Freddy Garcia exhaled at his locker this morning when someone congratulated him on being named the Yankees’ fifth starter.

“Thank you,” Garcia said. “Finally.”

A notoriously poor spring performer, Garcia knew he had to have a decent Grapefruit League to win a rotation spot. He wasn’t fantastic, posting a 5.93 ERA in 13 2/3 innings, but it was obviously good enough.

“I’ve been working really hard this spring to be here,” Garcia said. “They made a decision. I’m the No. 5 starter and we’ll go from there.”

Garcia came into camp battling with Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre and Bartolo Colon for a roster spot. Nova won the No. 4 job and Colon’s strong spring displaced Mitre, who was dealt to the Brewers on Friday for outfielder Chris Dickerson. Garcia said he couldn’t take anything for granted.

“You never know. I’m not the one making the decision,” Garcia said. “For me, I worked really hard. They’re looking for two guys to help them for the next six months. I think I can do that, so I think they made the right decision.”

Nova, Garcia in rotation; Colon to bullpen

The Yankees have announced their pitching plans to start the season, naming Ivan Nova as the fourth starter and Freddy Garcia as the fifth. Bartolo Colon will work out of the bullpen in a long relief role.

Joe Girardi said that Garcia had been the favorite for a rotation spot all along over Colon, who had better numbers this spring but hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2009.

“We’d seen what [Garcia] had done last year,” Girardi said. “We actually thought he had a chance to get better.”

Colon has only pitched in relief three times in 328 big league games, but Girardi said he warms up quickly and should adapt well to the role previously filled by Sergio Mitre.

“We’ll make sure that we use him properly and don’t abuse him,” Girardi said. “We understand that this is something he really hasn’t done a lot of.”

The Yankees also figure to make at least one other call today. Eric Chavez can contractually demand to be released today if he’s not told he’s on the roster, but he’s had a great spring and seems to be a lock as a reserve corner infielder.

Cashman: Fifth starter will be decided soon

The Yankees have been saying, in Joe Girardi’s voice, that the battle for the two vacant slots in the rotation could go down to the final week of Spring Training. But general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday that they may hurry that decision along sooner.

With Ivan Nova seemingly in line for at least one of the spots after firing six hitless innings against the Orioles his last time out and Sergio Mitre heading for a long reliever role, it appears to be down to Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia for the last slot. 
Both have outs in their contracts that could make them free agents, and it is unclear if both pitchers would accept assignments to the bullpen. 
“I think we’re going to have to make that [decision] sooner than later,” Cashman said. “Ultimately, we have guys who have outs in their contracts with Garcia and Colon. We have to stretch guys out and start defining roles sooner than later.”
Speaking before Garcia took the mound against the Blue Jays on Saturday, Cashman said that he has been pleased with the competition thus far. 
“Everybody’s working hard, they’re doing a good job,” Cashman said. “It’s probably the best scenario that we could have hoped for as we entered camp with everybody, having a good strong competition. Anybody can make their case and we’re going to have to make a call here shortly.”
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