With the loss of Michael Pineda to Tommy John surgery, the Yanks have been plugging the gap with the likes of Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa and lately Caleb Smith.
No disrespect intended to those three, but the Yanks upgraded that spot today by dealing two minor league pitchers to the Twins for Jaime Garcia.
Garcia is a lefty (good for Yankee Stadium) and a rental. He is a free agent at the end of the year, and a solid mid-to end of the rotation piece. Not an ace, but definitely an upgrade over the Mitchell/Cessa/Smith trio.
He just turned 31, and was 3rd in ROY voting in 2010. He’s already had a couple of 13 win seasons. He won a WS ring as a member of the 2011 WS Champion Cardinals, so he has postseason experience.
He went 13-7, 3.56 for St. Louis in that WS Championship season.
Between the Braves and Twins this year, he was 5-7, 4.29, ERA+ 101. Average (an average ERA+ is 100). For his career, he is 67-52, 3.65. His 162 g. average is 13-10, 3.65, ERA+ 108. So a little better than an average pitcher.
He missed large portions of 2013 and 2014.
In seven postseason starts, Garcia is 0-3, 3.94 ERA.
He has been averaging 6 1/3 innings per start this season. That is huge with the Yankees’ bullpen of Warren, Green, Kahnle, Betances, Robertson and Chapman. By contrast, the rookie Smith was knocked out in the fourth inning in both of his MLB starts. As I mentioned, an upgrade.
You can’t have people wearing out the bullpen.
Go six, keep the team in the game.
Going to the Twins are:
Zack Littell. AA. RHP. 21. Between High A Tampa & AA Trenton, 14-1, 1.87 this year. 35-24, 3.24 in his minor league career. Last year, between low and High A, he was 13-6, 2.66.
Dietrich Enns. AAA. LHP. 26. 2-1, 2.18 between AAA SWB and one rehab relief appearance for the Gulf Coast Rookie League this year. Missed a large portion of this season with an injury. Was 14-4, 1.73 between AA and AAA last season. He is 27-14, 1.87 in his minor league career.
Nice records lately for these two. But you have to give to get.
The thing is, where were they in the pecking order. If you have 10 really solid starting pitchers in your system, who is #1 and who is #10? This is where Cashman, the front office and your scouts come in. Not all 10 come up and start for you. You can’t put everyone on the 40 man roster. You’ll lose someone via the Rule 5 draft (which is how they originally lost Tommy Kahnle, who they just recently reacquired).
You have to pick and choose who to keep and who has to go. You have to have a pecking order, and you hope you are right in assessing that pecking order. You hope you make the right decision of who to keep and who to trade.
But as of now, it seems like a good deal, because even if Garcia, a free agent at the end of the year is a rental, he is still an upgrade over Mitchell, Cessa or Smith for this stretch drive.
This doesn’t take the Yanks out of getting Sonny Gray, an ace. They may still do that deal.