Garcia has been pitching at 88-89 mph with his fastball. There were times last season when Garcia was working at 85-86, but he said his shoulder feels stronger, and that lively fastball has made his other pitches more effective. He’s been able to throw strikes, and Girardi keeps raving about how Garcia “finds a way to get outs.”
It’s good to hear that Freddy Garcia‘s velocity is up a bit this year over last season even if it isn’t in the mid-90’s range that it was five or six years ago. The one thing that I’m interested in seeing from Garcia is how he recovers from starts. If he makes 100-110 pitches is he going to be able to come back strong the next time out?
Take a look at his velocity chart from last season:
Look at the box on the right side, that is his chart from last season. You’ll see that he ranged anywhere from the low-80’s to the low-90’s. Looking closer and you’ll see that after every start where his velocity is up he followed that up with a dropoff the next time out. Garcia won’t be real useful to the Yankees if he has to throw 110 pitches in Boston and then is unable to pitch in the next start or two while he recovers.
So while it’s good that Garcia has his velocity up right now it is important to see him keep it up. If he can’t do that, he might not be in the rotation for long before they are forced to replace him.
It is promising that Garcia told reporters that he feels better this year than he did last year. He said that he really only felt this comfortable in about three or four starts last season. Hopefully that holds up.