Despite losing several key relievers to injury, the Los Angeles Dodgers boasted one of the Majors’ best bullpens during the 2017 season. The group as a whole ranked third in FanGraphs’ WAR (7.5), and placed fourth in ERA (3.38) and FIP (3.55).
One reliever who couldn’t contribute to the club’s success was Yimi Garcia. He underwent Tommy John surgery last October and missed the entire 2017 season. In 2016, he pitched to a 3.24 ERA and 2.91 FIP over 8.1 innings.
Garcia is one of the organization’s nine players eligible for arbitration this winter. Assuming Los Angeles tenders him a contract, Garcia figures to compete for a spot in the bullpen come Spring Training.
“Even from a bullpen standpoint, losing a couple guys to free agency, we have some guys coming back,” Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said.
“We expect Yimi Garcia to be in the mix next year. We have really good internal solutions, but it’s not going to stop us from looking for ways to improve.”
The Dodgers have seven free agents to make decisions on, including relievers Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson.
Morrow emerged as one of the more dominating setup men this season, while Watson served as the team’s go-to left-handed reliever since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in July.
In a similar mold to Morrow, Garcia profiles as a late-inning option. Garcia received his biggest workload to date during the 2015 season, where he logged 56.2 innings and posted a 3.34 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He accumulated 68 strikeouts — good for 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
In 75 career Major League innings, Garcia owns a 3.12 ERA, 3.31 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with 81 strikeouts to 12 walks.