The Yankees could have just released Freddy Garcia when they removed him from the rotation as he doesn’t necessarily fit a clear role in their bullpen. However, the Yankees are on the hook for $4 million to Garcia so they weren’t just going to release him. Instead they banished him to the back of the bullpen where he hasn’t gotten off to a bad start in his first three appearances.
It’s way too early to tell if Garcia has put his struggles behind him, but so far so good. He has made three, two-inning appearances in typical mop-up duty and has not yet allowed an earned run. To go with his 0.00 ERA as a reliever, Garcia has four strikeouts and two walks in six innings while opponents have a weak .150/.227/.150/.377 line against him.
Don’t look for him to be knocking on the rotation’s door just yet though. One of the problems manager Joe Girardi cited in removing Garcia from the rotation was that his velocity was down from where it was last season. In his few appearances that velocity has been up a bit, but inconsistent and it is too soon to be able to tell if he’s rebounding physically. If he keeps pitching the way he has been, he should expect to at least move up in the bullpen pecking order.