Yankees demote Garcia to pen, call up Mitchell 18

After his fourth consecutive awful start, the Yankees have demoted veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia to the bullpen, according to Chad Jennings of the Journal News.

In corresponding moves, the Yankees promoted starter D.J. Mitchell from Triple-A and demoted Cody Eppley back down to the minors. Mitchell will likely take David Phelps‘ role in the bullpen as the longman with Phelps being inserted into the rotation until Andy Pettitte is ready. However, Joe Girardi seems to have left open the option that Mitchell could get the rotation spot over Phelps simply because he is stretched out a bit more.

Garcia signed a one-year $4 million deal during the offseason. That is probably the only thing keeping him in Pinstripes right now because the Yankees likely aren’t ready to just swallow that whole. Instead he’ll work out of the bullpen for a few weeks. If he shows improvement, he could potentially take Phil Hughes‘ rotation spot from him. Or if he continues to struggle, the Yankees could decide the $4 million is a sunk cost and just release him.

Keeping Garcia in the ‘pen allows GM Brian Cashman time to find a potential trade partner for Garcia. Obviously the Yankees won’t get much back for Garcia, if they could find anybody willing to take him. They may find somebody desperate enough for an extra starter that they would be willing to pay some of the $4 million they owe him though.

Pettitte will throw in a High-A Tampa game on Monday and is expected to throw about 95-100 pitches. He’ll likely get one more start after that and then join the team in the Bronx. That means that Phelps or Mitchell would only need to make one start before he comes back. If Hughes continues to struggle, Girardi may just decide to plug Pettitte in for him, but that Phelps will have to be really impressive for the Yankees to consider that.

Mitchell has been solid in four minor league starts this year putting up a 3.13 ERA, 8.2 K/9, and 2.7 BB/9 in 23 innings.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

18 thoughts on “Yankees demote Garcia to pen, call up Mitchell

  • Paul

    Garcia is at the end of his career & has clearly chose to mail it in this season…after he got Paid! You can’t tell me that he’s completely forgotten how to pitch over the past 9 months. It’s evident that the man simply doesn’t care while out there on the mound. Look at this year compared to last. The Difference is very Simple…classic case of Entitlement. Last year he had to fight ($1.5M NON-guaranteed salary), this season it was given to him ($4M Guaranteed). NO ONE ELSE was giving Garcia $4M prior to this season…NO ONE! I’m not saying he didn’t deserve it…he was about as steady as anyone on the Team & no one can deny the fact that he gave the Team more than Anyone expected. But this year…Attitude of Entitlement from the beginning. Btw…anyone happen to see what Bartolo Colon is doing so far in Oakland. Just thought I’d add that. Another Great Decision Cash…

  • Dio

    I'm glad you noticed that! I sure did and do you see what Montero is doing. Another good one by Cash, Pineda on DL and Martin is having an terrible start.

  • Ralph

    Paul, you are correct, his done, he can't pitch even in Class A, give him away free soon. Cash selecting pitcher it's not the best in town.

  • Bronx_Knight

    Maybe Garcia has lost motivation and is just collecting his paychecks. Or maybe Garcia just used up everything he had left in last year's solid performance. Either way, I disagree that it was a mistake to re-sign Garcia this year for $4M. He earned it based on his performance last year, and it's a relatively modest amount for a starting pitcher, even a back-of-the rotation starter. That's baseball.

  • Tanned Tom

    Good moves by the Yanks, let's see what Phelps and Mitchell have got. By bringing up Mitchell they are signaling that Hughes will go too. I say trade Garcia if possible now, then if Mitchell and Phelps are even 5.00 ERA pitchers, trade Hughes when Andy's ready.
    Always funny when "fans" think a player is struggling because he wants to. What planet are you from? Garcia and Hughes are doing the best they can, THAT is the problem, not that they are somehow sand bagging their team. To say that Garcia has an air of entitlement just betrays the writer's own issues, because clearly it is not the case. And it was a good decision to re-sign Garcia, fatboy Colon pulled a muscle last year running from the mound to cover 1B.
    When Cashman signed Garcia last year he was a genius now he's an idiot? Grow up please.
    Also the Pineda trade made perfect sense, get a potential ace for a player without a position.
    Aand the one thing Cashman legitimately excells at is spare parts scavenging. If Mitchell and Phelps rock, will the critics go back to sucking their thumbs? And Roy Oswalt anyone?

  • Paul

    Tanned Tommy…you obviously have no PERSONAL experience in the World of Professional Athletics. If you don’t think there is a difference in the performance attitude of an NFL player, who, outside of any Guaranteed money that’s worked into their contract, and NBA & MLB players whose contracts are Guaranteed before the ink dries, than you are either oblivious to Reality or are still believing in the tooth fairy. I’m not, by any means, putting every Professional athlete in this category, but I could literally list off dozens & dozens of examples of athletes that, when that contract was signed…something changed. And that IS the case with ol’ Freddy so far this year…whether you wanna admit it or not. Now I’m not saying that he can’t turn it around, but in my opinion, it won’t have anything to do with a mechanical issue, but rather everything to do with a WILL issue…

  • Pop Psychologist

    Yes, I'm certain going from filthy stinking rich to slightly moreso just ruined poor ol' Freddy's motivation.

  • shavager

    Garcia and Colon were finished by third half of last season, neither were worth counting on in playoffs. I'm just surprised why Yanks even re-signed Garcia given his ineffectiveness over last few weeks of season last. It's TIME for change in Yanks pitching philosophy OR TIME for change in general manager. Cashman's WASTED more money on wore out retreads than he has invested in quality young starters either from farm clubs or FA signings. Team needs YOUNG, HUNGRY talent, not resigning aging pitchers who are on downside of careers. At this point, bullpen or spot starts later in season are all that Garcia gives Yanks.

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