The Dodgers Need Yimi Garcia Healthy

Yimi Garcia

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Garcia has pitched well this spring, despite the knee problems. Garcia has appeared in seven games and posted a 3.38 ERA. In eight frames, Garcia has allowed eight hits and struck out seven. He’s given up just one free pass and no home runs. The run he allowed on Sunday was just the third of the spring.

Garcia performed like the knee problems may be a thing of the past as he mixed fastballs and sliders effectively. He whiffed the first two batters he faced (Tyler Holt, and Joey Votto). He then gave up a single to center to rookie Seth Mejias-Brean, and was removed from the game. Later in the inning veteran Jay Bruce’s run scoring double plated Mejias-Brean.

Maybe Yimi won’t have to open the season on the disabled list after all? We’ve talked about this before, but Yimi should be a vital cog in the 2016 Dodgers bullpen. He’s going to act as a setup-man and bridge to closer Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers are at a huge disadvantage without Yimi Garcia.

Garcia seems to have improved in one area that was a weakness for him in 2015. That’s the long ball. Garcia allowed eight home runs in 56.2 innings pitched last season. That gave him a home runs allowed per nine innings rate of 1.3.  Garcia has yet to allow a home run this spring. The movement on his pitches looked sharp today. He looked good on Sunday.

Garcia appeared in 59 games for the Dodgers in 2015. He posted a 3.34 ERA/3.20 FIP and a 10.8 strikeout per nine rate in 56.2 innings pitched. Garcia struck out 68 and walked just 10 while allowing 70 hits per nine last season. Garcia is one of the most talented pitchers on the Dodger’s staff. The Dodgers can ill afford any further injuries to the pitching staff. Yimi’s health is vital to the success of the Dodger’s bullpen.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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62 thoughts on “The Dodgers Need Yimi Garcia Healthy

  1. Good article Scott. I think the bull pen will be strong this year. Coleman will make the team. The only one I do not like is Blanton. He will make the team because of his contract. Bad signing. Why FAZ continues some of these older player signings, I do not know. This is who I think should be in the pen. Garcia, Baez, Coleman Hatcher, Howell, and Jansen will be in the bull pen. Liberatore and Avilan will fight it out for the other position. Where you put Blanton I do not know.

    1. I totally agree Al. So far Liberatore looks much better than Avilan. I haven’t seen much from Blanton yet either. I am for cleaning out last year’s late season trades and move Wood and Avilan to another team for a better left side reliever.

      1. Blanton has a one year $4M contract. That might allow him to open the season with the Dodgers but my guess is that he won’t finish the season with the Dodgers.

        I think Jansen, Hatcher, Garcia, Baez, and Coleman will do well this year.

        I worry about Avilan, Howell, Blanton, Wright, and Liberatore.

        I also think Wood will be auditioning for the 4th rotation spot every time he pitches. That spot is not settled yet by any means.

  2. The bullpen has the arms. Like I’ve said many times, if guys like Yimi, Baez, and Hatcher learn how to spot an off speed pitch, the pen could be a strength. I think it is safe to say, they will be needed. In fact, looking at our current rotation I predict our bullpen will be in top the league’s top 20% in IP.

  3. I think every pitcher in the organization MUST know how to throw an off speed pitch. It should be mandatory. If you do not change speeds, major league hitters will tag you. Right now Frias has won the 5th starting position. I am not sure how healthy Wood or Kasmir are at this point.

    We all wanted last years medical staff gone. The new group does not give me confidence yet. I hope some of these injuries are solved.

  4. Can I beat that dead TV horse one more time? The Dodgers, TWC, the Commish, think the fans and other providers are stupid with their $3.50 offer. (One year only!) They are committed to paying the Dodgers $333MM a year for 25 years (23 to go). Ignoring the other providers they are trying to sell to (for the moment), they want HBO, 20 million subscribers, to agree to pay them $3.50 a month for each subscriber, 12 months a year. Do the math, TWC would rake in $70MM a month, $840MM a year. Nice profit, eh? Stand behind your cable and satellite provider (as long as it’s not TWC in their resistance, don’t help the rich get richer at the expense of others like ourselves. What the providers want, what is best for us consumers, is TWC making the channel available ala carte, where only those who want the channel will have to pay for it. I’d gladly pay $10 a month.

  5. Good article on the Dodgers form an outside perspective. They even speculate about a possible move for Fernandez or Sonny Gray after the ASB. Let’s hope the Marlins tank and Jose becomes disgruntled.

    http://nypost.com/2016/03/27/dodgers-season-will-be-utterly-epic-in-which-direction/

    Yimi got shelled a little at the beginning of last year after an impressive 14 debut. I was sort of impressed just looking at the total stats for Yimi in Scott’s article. It was a similar story for Hatcher. He didn’t start the year well, but finished in good form. The bullpen could be great if they put it all together. The don’t have Chapman, thank god, but they have some good pieces, including Blanton and Coleman.

    It’s like everything else on this team: if things click and everything comes together, then this team will be formidable – championship caliber. On the other hand, things could spiral out of control. They need to just hold it together until reinforcements come.

    1. I agree with patch here. Reinforcements are needed.

      This team could be formidable in the second half IF all the players that are currently signed come back at 100%. Yeah, that COULD happen. A lot of things COULD happen. Bumgarner and Samardzija could continue with ERA ‘s between 8-11, Greinke and Miller could fail miserably in the desert, Maeda and Kazmir could each throw 200 innings of 3.0 ERA.

      What’s LIKELY to happen? The odds of all these Dodgers players coming back strong are probably long, as are the odds of Bumgarner continuing to pitch terribly.

      Yep, going to be an interesting year. And yes, I still have the Cubs and the Jays. That could change.

      1. In other words: the Dodgers could be really good – or not. There’s my profound thought for the day.

        Fangraphs is releasing projections for starting pitching. They give a clue as to who the #1 is going to be, and it might surprise some FAZophobes. Interesting the AZ is still only #16 with Greinke, and that both the Jays and KC, two championship caliber teams, are in the bottom half of ranked rotations. Yes, starting pitching is important, but it ain’t everything.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2016-positional-power-rankings-starting-rotations-16-30/

        1. The more I look at projections the less sense they make to me. Example: Shelby Miller pitches 183 innings of 3.8 ERA and is projected at 1.9 WAR and Robbie Ray pitches 129 innings of 3.89 ERA and projects at 1.7 WAR. I’ll make my own prediction with those numbers – if Miller pitches 183 innings ne will be better than 1.9 and Robbie Ray will pitch more than 129 innings, likely putting up more than 2 WAR. I think the Dbacks pitching will rank better than 16, and their run production will be in the top 10. Also, Greinke will be 5+ WAR.

        2. Dodger patch, the Royals have an excellent bullpen, and starting eight, everyday players, that are good on both defense, and offense.

          And that is why they can get away, with not great starting pitching. And because the Royal’s bullpen, allowed them to be good without great starting pitching, that is what our front office tried to do, to make up, for the loss of Greinke.

          If you remember, the front office, tried to get Chapman, to off set, the loss of Greinke.

          1. I never understood how getting another closer could offset losing one of the best starters in the game. Oh, they were going to make him a starter? How many times have we heard that? Ian Thomas was going to be a starter. Sierra and Montas are going to be starters. They think the bullpen is unimportant and relievers are interchangeable.

    2. Dodger patch I read that article. It was a good look at the Dodgers, from more a outside source. And a lot that Sherman described in his article, is being talked about, and being mirrored here, on this site. It did say that the front office, and everybody involved, would be choosing the 25 man roster today.

      1. Badger I know! That would have been the best way, to dominate, in this division. Neither the Giants, or the Dbacks, have a dominate pen, but either do the Dodgers. I do wish!

  6. Some of you are throwing Joe Blanton under the bus based upon his body of work in MLB. When he went to Pittsburgh last year, he became different pitcher under Ray Searage.

    After the All-Star Break, he was 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA 39 K’s in 34 IP with 1 HR. He only allowed 26 Hits and was overpowering. He knows he’s on the team, so he doesn’t care about Spring stats. Forget about that! A pitcher who can put up those kind of numbers is worthy of a $4 million deal. Maybe he will be good… maybe not, but it’s a low risk, high reward signing.

    If Yimi, Pedro, Chris and Joe pitch up to their capabilities, the pen will be a very, very strong spot.

  7. Bullpen is a strength? More like bull-pen. These guys are mostly the same inconsistent players from last year, just a year older. It doesn’t look like experience has taught them much. Our big 2 saved the pen’s ass last year, and now we have the big 1. The only reliable guy we have is Jansen. Too bad he has to wait until the 9th to pitch. This bullpen needs competent starters, and it doesn’t look like we have them after Kershaw and Maeda. I see an ugly April. Come May 1, .500 is optimistic.

    1. I would not be surprised by anything at this point, including .500 going into summer. So many question marks remain. I still believe there are good arms in the bullpen. Good pitchers? Maybe. Hopefully Maddux has had some influence. If not, who knows. I still don’t have a lot of confidence in the starting rotation, but I’m ready to be surprised. I don’t know what to make of this team. And our highly ranked minor league system? I read 2 of the top 5 are Seager and Maeda, neither of whom are even prospects. The rest of them? Not gonna be much help for a while.

    2. Bobby17 I, like you, don’t have a lot a confidence, in the bullpen. I want to believe that the bullpen will be better, but they gave away 21 games last year, and we’re ranked 23 of all, of the bullpens, in baseball.

      I think Coleman will make a big difference, and I think he can pitch, to both leftys, and righties. But besides one more year of experience, what else, is going to turn this bullpen around, from there performance of last year?

      Did anyone of these pitchers, learn a good off speed pitch ,in the off season, or in spring training, that they can throw for strikes, like was mentioned? I hate to say this, but I am concerned more with JP, then anyone else, in the bullpen.

      JP manages to always have a decent era, but his whip, and other stats, never seem, to support, the era that he has. And it seems since, that first year, that Mattingly over used JP, he has never been quite the same.

      And I know this is only spring training, but both the leftys, in the pen, have looked terrible. And like Bum has said, Libertore has looked the best.

  8. I suspect that some of the young guys will be better out of the pen with a year of experience under their belts. I have high hopes for Yimi in particular if he is healthy. I still get nervous every time Baez pitches. He is essentially a 1 pitch pitcher and his fastball doesn’t have much movement on it. Hatcher makes me nervous too – not good enough control for an 8th inning guy.

    Since Avilan hasn’t been effective, he probably won’t break camp with the team. They won’t keep a 2nd lefty just to have one around.

    It looks like Blanton has been more effective then I thought he would be – maybe Searage is really adept at making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I sure hated the signing at first – Blanton was one of the worst starting pitchers I have ever seen.

    As to dodgerpatch’s comment that starting pitching isn’t everything, I would only point out that the LA Dodgers have not been successful since they moved to Dodger Stadium without great starting pitching. The Dodgers don’t play in Fenway or Wrigley or Coors – a great offense won’t get it done alone. They have to have starters who will dominate the competition. Kershaw certainly can – I doubt that any of the others on the major league roster can. That’s why they need to rush the kids to the bigs – see if Urias, DeLeon, or any of the other highly-touted prospects are what everyone hopes they can be. If they are then they can have overpowering starting pitching – if not, the team will be OK but not great.

    1. I agree with you about Dodgers and pitching. They have been synonymous through the years. But, there are new sheriffs in town. It remains to be seen what they really value. So far, reliable, quality starting pitching doesn’t look like an immediate priority. But, that could change as months, and years, go by.

    2. Dodger Stadium has changed from the days of Koufax. There is much less space outside the foul lines and far more popups now go into the stands that used to be caught. The fences have been brought in as well.

      The Brooklyn Dodgers of the 50s could hit. The INFIELD Dodgers of the 70’s could hit. There have been 2 decades out of the last 7 that the Dodgers could hit. The Dodgers have mostly been a pitching team that has used their highest draft choices for pitchers.

      I am ready for a change. Pitching and defense wins and hitting is entertaining. I still want great defense but I prefer a team that is balanced with pitching and hitting. Pitch quickly and put the damn ball in play. Who wants to watch a 3 hour game that uses 15 minutes in total where the ball is in play. Watching pitchers clear their nose and scratch their butts between pitches is like watching paint dry.

      1. The Dodgers have had other teams that could hit. In the 90’s they had Piazza, Karros, Ziele and Mondesi. Later they had Sheffield and Shawn Greene.

        While Dodger Stadium is not as much a pitcher’s park as it was in the 60’s, it is still a pitcher’s park. I repeat – they have not been successful without great pitching. Yeah – they can’t do it with pitching alone, but they don’t really have the arms they need to win it all. They will be good but not great without rebuilding the rotation.

        According to Park Factors.com, the Stadium has a factor of -97 from 2010-2013. It slightly favors pitchers – it produces 91 runs for every 100 runs scored in all parks. To put this in context, the most extreme hitter’s park (Coors Field, natch) is +144; the best pitcher’s park is AT&T (-74).

        Put another way – they couldn’t get to the Series with Greinke and Kershaw 3 straight years. Without Greinke in the rotation, we are supposed to believe that the pitching will be better and good enough to get there? Not with the cast-offs and walking wounded currently populating the rotation.

        1. If you are right Rick that outcome will come soon enough. It gives me no pleasure to whine about it before it happens.

          1. I prefer to look at it not as whining, but rather as critique based on hard knowledge founded in opinion.

            Fences have been moved a couple of times, ’69, ’83 I know, maybe others. The plate was moved forward in ’69, to generate more home runs. And of course foul areas have been decreased.

            Richie, I moved to LA from Missouri in ’59 and was part of the early LA excitement over the team. I was at the Coliseum twice when over 90,000 were there – on Roy Campanella Night and again the same year at a World Series game. Being in the LA area (Canoga Park) and having a team like the Dodgers to root for was very exciting for kids who loved baseball. I fell asleep every summer night listening to Vince Scully and Jerry Doggett. Great memories.

  9. Here’s a great comment from True Blue LA:

    ” On Sunday in the media room at the Dodgers complex, the prevailing discussion was of what number would be higher — the total number of Dodgers on the disabled list on opening day or the number of former or current general managers in the Dodgers front office.”

    1. Neither one is going to be bigger than the last 5 year average number of players the Dodgers have paid that were no longer playing for the Dodgers. Note: Use of sarcasm was aided by stretched realism.

  10. We play the Giants eight times, in the first two weeks of the season, and in between the Giants, we play the Dbacks. I hope we can get a good start, and beat Greinke, and stay close, until Ryu comes back.

    Ryu threw a bunch of curves in his last session, and I think it was off the mound. And curves are suppose to be, one of the harder pitches to throw, after coming back, from injury.

    I am feeling better about Ryu, since I heard Orel talk about him. And because Ryu is throwing again. And if Ryu comes back, by, or after the Allstar break, the Dodgers will be more then just ok.

    Because if Ryu comes back, and can pitch, like Ryu of old, the Dodgers will have a better starting rotation, then they had last year. Kershaw, Ryu, Maeda, and the four and five.

  11. The Greatest Dodger hitting teams were definitely in the 50’s. Sure Piazza, Karros, Mondesi(not so much Zeile) were great and later Sheffield and Greene but how do they compare to Hodges, Campy, Furillo, Snider, etc.
    I’ve never seen the Dodgers play in LA in person but I did watch them play in Brooklyn and the air was absolutely electric there when they took the field. Even Don Newcombe could hit. One year he hit like .342 w/ 7 homers and that was in a 154 game schedule.

    All that being said, they still only won one WS in 1955 against NYY who seemed to be in the WS almost EVERY Year and won more than they lost.

    1. The problem with those Dodgers teams was the pitching! The Yankees were in no way a match for the Dodgers, 1 – 8 in the lineup or the field, but the Yankees always had better, deeper and more consistent pitching, so they usually won.

      We need pitching now too. One great pitcher and several mediocrities won’t get it done.

  12. For those of you who never saw a game in Brooklyn, my condolences because I was truly blessed to be part of the fan base in what was a wonderous time. I even appeared on Happy Felton’s Knothole gang once. Ahhhh the memories and not faded either.

    1. Only got to watch them play in Brooklyn on TV. I loved watching the WS on a weekend morning and waking up the Gillette Blue Blades song. You know the quickest slickest shave of all.

    2. The infield and the outfield, hit really well, in the 70s, and they were really fun to watch. They also had good pitching.

  13. Badger and I talked a few years ago about a major change in Dodger Stadium with the outfield.

    Bring in the fences a few feet — but transform them like left field in Baltimore, where there is a low wall, outfielders can jump up and almost in to the seats. The fans would be in their faces and thus — in the game.

    When the season starts, what a few inning of a game in Baltimore and you will see what we mean.

    1. Weren’t the original outfield fences up against the pavilion seats? Moving the pavilion forward would cost a few bucks. I would rather the Dodgers pay another Cuban teenager $50M. Maybe get Lazaro.

  14. I don’t want a launching pad. I want a field with normal dimensions, which we have, and a team built to win in it. The pavilion seats have character, mostly in the fact they are the bleachers. But they should come right to the field, and they could do it there.

    Anybody see Gumbel speak to baseball sabermetrics on Real Sports. Very interesting points made. The old school guys know what they know and it’s good enough. I know this, if a guy hits .300, doesn’t chase bad pitches, and has gap power, all the other numbers now being used will be good. Proof is in looking at yesteryear’s stats. Even though it didn’t exist at the time you knew Mickey Mantle had a high wRC+. That said, I’m fine with baseball going that direction. It’s just information. Most baseball people can tell if a young player has it or not just by watching them play. It is hard to tell some things in Spring Training because not all the stars of the game are playing that hard and many of the at bats are against no name pitchers.

    I still want the organization to focus on fundamentals, and I would like to see them continue to develop pitching.

    1. That is why Jim Kaat said that baseball is only a boring game now, because the ball isn’t put in play, like years ago.

      He said way to many walks, and strike outs. I agree, and to much is emphasis, is put on OBA, but saber metric people, don’t care about batting average, or strike outs.

      They think strike outs, are just another out. And that isn’t true. Any time a hitter puts a ball in play, there is always the chance, that the defense won’t field the ball, and when the ball is put in play, a runner can advance, or score. These things don’t usually happen, with strike outs.

  15. The Dodgers are facing a decent major league pitcher tonight, so let’s see how they hit. I don’t understand why Utley isn’t playing second tonight. He needs to get his at bats, and he has been hitting good.

    1. The older guys need to get lots of time off in the spring. Get out of camp healthy.

      It’s spring training – all we want to see is health…

    1. Mark seeing Puig really listening to the hitting coach, is a good sign. And we want Puig to only be a knucklehead, in spring.

  16. I like Culberson too. He had a brain fart on the bases yesterday, but I forgive him that as I believe poor base running may be an endemic issue with the Dodgers. I also find it interesting that Culberson is 6th on the team in at bats, Thompson leads, Segedin is second, and Barnes is 4th. The Dodgers are giving these guys every opportunity to show their worth, as AAA replacement players or possibly trade pieces as there is no room for any of these guys on the 25 man. That of course could change with the next tick of a hamstring.

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