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White Sox Writers Talk Freddy Garcia

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...


Garcia's focus is his biggest strength and one of his biggest weaknesses. He will go out and pitch a gem against a contender - as he did last year with victories over Tampa, Boston, Texas and the Yankees - but then he will go out and get absolutely drilled against the A's, Royals or Marlins. His stuff isn't anywhere near what it used to be, but he didn't earn the name "Big Game Freddy" for nothing - he is a fierce competitor.  

If the Yankee training staff can keep him healthy (which has been a chore for anyone other than the White Sox) and he makes the team out of spring training (there will be a good chance he gets beat down in the spring as he usually does), he will pitch good enough to win for you guys. He threw a lot of quality starts and was great after losses last year. He will keep you in the game and with your guys offense that should be good enough to win on most occasions. Expect him to get beat down by the Orioles or Indians, but he will come up big vs. the Red Sox


The quintessential Wily Veteran. Of the pitchers who threw 100+ IP last year, he threw his fastball less than all non-knuckleballers. He doesn't break 90 these days and he doesn't get many ground balls or strike outs. But he does have outstanding command. He's got a slider for righties and what I think is a change (possibly a splitter?) for lefties and he throws them more than pretty much any other starter out there. That's his strategy for keeping hitters off-balance and the excellent command of those pitches ensures that when they do guess right, the bases are usually empty.  And they will guess right. He gave up 23 HR in 157 IP last year.

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.

I am rooting for Garcia to win the fifth spot if the Yankees do not sign/trade for anyone else at this point. Thanks to the writers!

Tomorrow will be South Side Sox writers once again, this time about Andruw Jones.