I posed two questions to the writers of South Side Sox: 1. What are Freddy Garcia's strengths and weaknesses?, and 2. How do you think Garcia will play for the Yankees? Here is what the White Sox writers had to say:
1. Strengths: This part of the analysis is getting harder and harder to write. Freddy has realized that he no longer has even a decent fastball, as it sits around 87 mph. That being said, he has adapted, a la Jamie Moyer and become a junkballer. His changeup is still fairly good (7.6 runs above average), but you have to honestly wonder how long that can last without other good pitches. He doesn't walk too many hitters anymore. Garcia also comes dirt cheap, which is always a very nice strength.
Weaknesses: He is very prone to giving up the long-ball (21 in 157 innings last year). His K/9 has been in steady decline, bottoming out at 5.10 last season. While he did throw 157 innings last season, that was his first time over 100 innings since 2006 and the durability concerns are well-founded.
2. I wouldn't be shocked if Garcia managed to put up a similar year for the Yankees as he did for the White Sox in 2010, but I wouldn't bet on it. He doesn't have too much gas left in the tank at this point. He'll also suffer somewhat from leaving Omar Vizquel and Alexei Ramirez behind for the defensive tandem of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. He'll be playing in front of a much better hitting lineup, so he could pick up some more wins but his peripheral stats will be no better. He's a good fifth starter and a decent fourth starter, but hoping for anything more would be foolish and risky.
More after the jump...
I said repeatedly last year that I didn't know how long he could keep it up. There just aren't that many successful starters like him. But that didn't stop him from making 28 starts and getting a lot of weak contact. It's not great to have to rely on him if you're a top team--he's a big injury risk and far from dominating--but he's a great insurance policy and a solid 4th/5th starter. I'd peg him for somewhere between 4.60-5.00 ERA.