Yimi Garcia will be an important part of the Dodger bullpen this season. The 25-year old right hander has been battling a sore knee throughout spring training. Garcia returned to the mound on Sunday afternoon in the Dodger’s 7-6 loss to the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Garcia looked good despite allowing one earned run on one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
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.