It was an interesting season to say the least, as Jaime Garcia became the first player in over a century to have three straight appearances as a starter for three different teams. The veteran left-hander was shipped to Atlanta last offseason and had a mixed bag for the first half of the season with the Braves, seeing a dip in strikeouts (6.8 K/9) and an increase in walks (3.3 BB/9). Following a one-start stint with the Twins, Garcia was traded for the second time in less than a week in the lead up to the trade deadline, joining the Yankees' rotation for the back half of the season. It was the second straight season in which the 31-year-old was able to avoid the injury bug, but the results were either about even or down a bit across the board from 2016's disappointing campaign. Still, there's enough left in the tank that Garcia should get a chance to slot into the back-end of a starting rotation wherever he lands.
Garcia will not start Saturday against the Blue Jays, Pete Caldera of The Record reports. The Yankees announced the decision to give CC Sabathia the ball over Garcia just hours before first pitch. The Red Sox have a two-game lead in the AL East with just two games to play, but the Yankees are going to put as much pressure on their division rival as they can while they are still mathematically in the hunt for the division crown. Garcia will be available out of the bullpen Saturday and could pitch in Sunday's game, but it's hard to confidently bank on any production from him the rest of the way.
Garcia (5-10) allowed five runs on four hits and three walks across 2.1 innings to take the loss Sunday against the Blue Jays. He struck out four. Garcia allowed runs in the first and second innings before a disastrous third in which he walked the bases loaded before the bullpen allowed all three to score. The left-hander could hardly find the strike zone, throwing a putrid 45 percent of his pitches for strikes and throwing just six first-pitch strikes to 14 hitters. Garcia had allowed just four earned runs over 19.1 innings in his previous four starts and will look to get back on track Friday against this same Toronto club as he looks to make his claim to a postseason rotation spot.
Garcia allowed just an unearned run on four hits and no walks across 5.2 innings in a no-decision Monday against the Twins. He struck out nine. Garcia was superb in this one, throwing 67 percent of his pitches for strikes as he tied his season high in punchouts. He made it through five frames rather easily, but the lefty was removed after a pair of singles and an error resulted in a run to begin the sixth. Garcia has allowed just four earned runs over 19.1 innings over his last four outings and will take a respectable 3.89 ERA into his next scheduled start Sunday against the Blue Jays.
Garcia allowed one run on five hits and one walk while striking out four over 4.2 innings in a no-decision against the Rays on Wednesday. Making his first appearances since Aug. 30, Garcia kept the Rays in check, with a homer off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier accounting for the extent of the damage. Jordan Montgomery is set to start a game this weekend, but it doesn't sound like he will be replacing Garcia or anyone else; manager Joe Girardi suggested this is just a way to give the starting staff more rest. Regardless, Garcia hasn't completed six innings in any of his six starts with the Yankees, and the middling K-rate limits his appeal even in favorable matchups.
Garcia is scheduled to make his next start Wednesday against the Rays, George A. King of the New York Post reports. A combination of factors -- mainly the expanded rosters at the start of September and Garcia's ineffectiveness since donning pinstripes -- will make this his first start in two weeks if the lefty does indeed get the ball Wednesday. In five starts with the Yankees, Garcia is 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA and has yet to make it through six innings, so if he continues to struggle, a regular slot in the rotation doesn't appear to be guaranteed down the stretch run.