Freddy Garcia: Yankees Top Starter Against Top Offenses?

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: Freddy Garcia #36 of the New York Yankees waves to the fans as he leaves the game against the Seattle Mariners on July 25, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Freddy Garcia has been more than the Yankees could have hoped for in 2011. However, are fans under-estimating how good he's been?

There seems to be a line of thought that Freddy Garcia can't pitch against good offenses, but as Moshe Mandel of The Yankee Analysts recently pointed out, that is simply not the case. In fact, he's arguably been their best.

Garcia's 3.33 ERA is the lowest on the team against the top six offenses in the AL and top six in the NL, by wRC+. In addition, he is tied with CC Sabathia for the lowest WHIP, at 1.36. Of his 14 starts against top offenses, eight have been of the quality variety. He has also never given up more than 5 runs in any of those starts, a stat only he and Ivan Nova can claim.

Mandel also provided some more support for Garcia. Among Yankees starters, Garcia is 2nd in ERA, 2nd in FIP, 4th in K/9, 3rd in BB/9, 3rd in WHIP, and 2nd in WAR. 

And, despite throwing a fastball in the 80s, Garcia gets more swings and misses than Bartolo Colon, Phil Hughes, and Nova, his competition for a postseason start.

Mandel's conclusion is difficult to argue with:

It seems hard to exclude Garcia from the postseason rotation for not beating good offenses and not missing bats when he does both better than his competition and has pitched better overall for most of the season.

Its time to give him the respect he deserves. Garcia has been good, and he can pitch against the good teams. 

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