Yankees demote Garcia to pen, call up Mitchell

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.
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18 Responses to Yankees demote Garcia to pen, call up Mitchell

  1. Paul says:

    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…

  2. Dio says:

    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.

    • Mike Sommer says:

      Montero still wouldn't take over as catcher from Martin, despite Martin's start, because of the defense.

      • Gonzalo says:

        Soon Mike will be saying that Montero is a bad hitter too.
        That was a bad trade, End of the discussion

        • Mike Sommer says:

          C'mon, Gonzalo, get real. I never said that. The truth is, Montero is a DH only. He wouldn't catch. And the Yanks have guys in Jeter and A-Rod (along with Ibanez) who need the DH slot. Maybe you forgot that Girardi, like Torre, is a former catcher who values DEFENSE at the catcher position first. Don't put words in my mouth.

          • Gonzalo says:

            Awesome, ARod Teixeira and Cano are looking so good, between them and Pineda the team is having such a good time

          • Mike Sommer says:

            They have been awful. As has Martin, offensively thus far. But Montero is a DH, not a catcher. He is a person who would catch 1/4 of the time. Do you know what is worse? Whining crybabies.

          • Gonzalo says:

            I think that being a Cashman kiss asz is worse. Everyvody can see that his movements this year were horrible

          • Mike Sommer says:

            I criticize Cashman when he needs to be criticized. He doesn't hit or pitch. He may have a good theory that just doesn't work. Getting young pitching, especially a possible young stud pitcher, was a move much praised at the time—by scouts and front office personnel throughout the majors. The Yanks probably need to re-evaluate how they develop starters, since they haven't developed any with long-term success since Pettitte. Hughes has backtracked. They screwed around with Joba. It's too early to grade Nova. But wanting to build a young, low-cost, high-reward rotation is a good thing. If your top prospects regress or a youngster gets hurt, that's nothing Cashman can control. He doesn't coach, nor is he a doctor or conditioning coach. He tries to put the team in position to win. He has made mistakes, and he has made good moves. He tried to build a staff for the future. In some ways, he is hamstrung because it is hard to get rid of a legend. They probably should have dumped Bernie or Posada a year before they did. But the fan base would have gone nuts. It's always better to dump a player a year too early than a year too late. But if the fan base wants to keep watching fading legends, they also must be prepared for fading results. As the saying goes, youth will be served. I've followed Montero since the day he was signed, and spoke and wrote about him constantly for several years now. I've watched him play several times, a few times with someone who was a former catcher and who is a current umpire. He agreed with the consensus of scouts that while Montero was a good hitter, that he wouldn't make it as a major league catcher. Unfortunately, the Yanks probably need 70 games at DH for A-Rod and Jeter combined right now. Maybe more. That leaves how many games for Montero? His development at catcher was not going to happen by being a part-time DH for the Yankees. Do I miss his bat? Yes. But I don't sit here and whine like a petulant two year old about what might have been. You deal with the here and now. Not all best laid plans work out. That's life. As for the here and now, besides the starting pitching, the Yanks currently have to get some players going—especially Cano, Teixeira and Martin. Scoring just three runs in three games at home vs. Baltimore was embarrassing. Personally, I would be surprised if A-Rod has a Jeter-like renaissance. 37 in July, I don't see him returning to 40/120. 27/90 may be more like it as he starts declining. Sitting here b & moaning is one thing. Offering constructive solutions and a plan is another, and keeping things within a reasonable budget is something else entirely. But many fans are spoiled by the Yankees success. I for one, lived through the late 60's and early '90s. Now that was something to b & m about.

  3. Ralph says:

    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.

    • Gonzalo says:

      Cash has done more than a very good job with hitters. Swisher, Granderson, Chavez, Ibañez, Jones isn't bad, Teixeira makes the infield looks so good he saves so many throwing errors, He didn't give all that money for ARod,
      But when we take a look at pitchers.
      OMG Pavano, Feliciano, Pineda, Kevin Brown, Jaret Wright, etc.

  4. Bronx_Knight says:

    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.

    • Gonzalo says:

      Re-sign was a good idea, somebody saying the opposite would be just critizing without thinking. The problem was the money, It was nore than enough, there is Bartolo as an example of similar numbers last year and how much is he earning, a little bit more and Oswalt could be here instead of Garcia

  5. Tanned Tom says:

    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?

  6. Paul says:

    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…

  7. Pop Psychologist says:

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

  8. shavager says:

    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.

    • Matt_DC says:

      I didn't think he had anything left in the tank, either (also, I don't care how well Colon is doing in Oakland – he will inevitably be on the DL). With no A.J. they needed to make sure someone would eat up innings, like Freddy did last year. I am not surprised Freddy isn't pitching like last season – but I am surprised how absolutely terrible he is. I think Rob is right that he if doesn't become useful in the 'pen he will be released rather than stick around. The Yankees have too many live arms to be patient in this increasingly competitive division.

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